Kindergarten may seem like a fun change in a child’s life from the parents’ point of view, and it probably soon will be. However, the fact that this is the first big change that children need to accept and adjust to can also cause stress and anxiety for the child. As a mom, you have the power to prepare your kid for this change and allow them to deal with their anxious feelings in a constructive and effective manner. After all, all kids really need is your love, support, and respect.
Talk to your child openly
Many parents make the mistake of simply telling their kids that they’re starting kindergarten, where they’ll get to learn and meet new friends. It’s bound to be fun! But, even though these things are true and children may even like the idea at first, facing the change when it actually happens can be really stressful. The idea of having many kids around them may be interesting but there’s also the possibility that your child will find this a bit scary when it actually happens. Not to mention that they have to spend time in a new environment.
This is why it’s paramount that you talk to your kid about everything that this change entails. Share your opinion about them having great fun with their teacher and peers but also address the possibility of their anxious feelings. Explain the whole process of starting school and that it’s OK if they feel a bit unadjusted at first. Share your own experiences. Most importantly, let the kid know that you’ll always be there for them. This isn’t a one-time conversation either. It’s essential that you address it constantly, well before the first day of kindergarten comes.
Playing school can help
As mentioned, easing the transition will be a constant process. Aside from talking about it openly, playing school can be tremendously helpful. You can talk to other moms in the neighborhood so that you can organize school play dates for your kids. It may not be completely the same, but getting a feel of what things are going to be like can effectively reduce the fear and anxiety your child may feel. And even if you can’t get other children to join every time, you can still play school with the help of plushies as other students.
Check out the new school
If you live in a country like Australia, where the chances are you’ll have to take a relatively long trip to get your child to the kindergarten, it’s important that you prepare them for this experience as well. Take them to check out the new school several times. This isn’t just about the school space but the actual trip, too. For instance, if you’ve chosen renowned childcare in Sydney, talk to the staff and teachers in advance so that they can meet you on one of your visits. This will allow your child to get familiar with the new routine and the adults they’re going to spend more time with soon.
Find your own goodbye routine
Goodbyes can turn out to be the hardest part of starting kindergarten. This is why it would be very helpful to make a game out of creating your special goodbye routine. You can do that at home during school play dates as well as on your visits to the school. Make this a fun and creative game where you’ll include your child and their idea of how your cool and unique goodbye should look like. That way, they won’t feel as anxious and scared when the time for the real goodbye comes.
As a mom who wants to help her child get over kindergarten anxiety, you need to stay calm and collected yourself. Kids don’t understand why you’re upset and they’ll conclude that the only logical reason is that something bad is going to happen. Therefore, maintain a positive attitude and always show enthusiasm for listening to their new experiences at school.