The time has come for your child to finally start kindergarten. You are probably anxious about letting your kid go but just imagine how they are feeling. They are leaving the comfort of your home and stepping into a whole new environment where they don’t know anyone. You will not be there for them to make them feel better so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this step is accompanied by some fears and anxiety. However, there are ways how you can ease your child’s kindergarten jitters and help them prepare for this new chapter of their life. Keep on reading how some useful tips.
Don’t show them how anxious you are
In order to lower your kid’s anxiety, you first have to manage your own. Sure, this separation might be difficult for you too as you don’t know how well your little one is going to adapt but you have to believe that you equipped them with all the necessary skills to succeed. It might take them some time to adjust but showing that you are scared and prolonging the goodbye will only make it harder for the both of you. Do your best to hide your fears and then work on yourself and overcoming them while your child is away at kindergarten.
Teach them how you say goodbye
Saying goodbye can be difficult so start preparing for it on time. Establish a goodbye ritual a few months before they actually start kindergarten. That way, once the time comes, you might not have such a hard time separating. For instance, you can create a special goodbye like a secret handshake or give them a memento that they can touch whenever they miss you. Furthermore, you should not linger while saying goodbye as drawing it out can only increase anxiety. Put on a happy face, stay calm, and simply state that you will see them soon. Even if you have to cry, wait until you are out of sight. When coming to pick them up, make sure you are on time as you don’t want your kid to think you forgot about them.
Play down the importance of kindergarten
Something else that might help with minimizing their fears is downplaying the importance of kindergarten. While this is a big step towards being a bit more independent and preparing them for school and other academic achievements, it might be for the best to tone down expectations and treat their first day like any other regular day. If your kid attended some other type of class before such as music or sports, you can compare kindergarten to that. Relating it to something they are already familiar with can make them more relaxed and soothe their nerves. What is more, explain that this is a great place to make some new friends and they will love it if they like playing with others.
Choose the right kindergarten and trust the teachers
A big part of alleviating your fears about your kid starting kindergarten is making sure you pick a quality center. You want to opt for a licensed center such as the St Ives Chase Kindergarten that will provide your child with a safe and stimulating environment. Look into their program and see if they will encourage your kid to learn, explore, and make friends. By doing some research about the center, you will also see that the teachers are trustworthy and that you will be able to rely on them to ease your child’s fears as well. These professionals are trained and know how to handle kids that might be experiencing separation anxiety. Moreover, your little one is surely not the only kid that feels this way and the teachers will help them make friends that will make this time away from parents as enjoyable as possible.
Talk about the anxiety they are feeling
Finally, to be able to address your child’s fears and concerns, you should talk to them to see what it is they are actually afraid of. See what they are worried about and ask them to give you specific examples. Maybe they’re scared that you won’t be there to pick them up. Maybe they think the other kids will be mean to them. Maybe they’re afraid of a new environment and don’t know how to behave. Once you know these specifics, you can try some roleplaying that will ease their anxiety. You can create various scenarios that will help them imagine how kindergarten will look like or read some books about starting kindergarten such as The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing or First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg.
Your kid starting kindergarten is a big step for them but also for you. While you might be nervous, there is really nothing to be afraid of as it is also a necessary part of life that will prepare them for school. Keep these tips in mind and you should have no issues keeping the anxiety at bay.