Posted by Patricia Vogt at 9/11/2008 1:00:00 PM
If your child is having difficulty transitioning to the start of the school year, here are some tips:
- Rituals (bedtime and morning)
- "Lovie" or "Cuddly" represents closeness to parents/guardians. If possible, allow the child to take the "Lovie" along.
- Do not give in. Let the child know that he or she will be okay.
- Remind the child of previous brave things he or she has done. Talk about how a fictional character might handle it.
- Let child know, in words he or she can understand, that you appreciate how distressing it must be to be separated from loved ones. Understanding and acceptance, but not excessive sympathy.
- Never make fun of a child's separation distress. Do not scold child for it.
- Do not bribe child.
- Focus on the positive things that happened in school that day. Don't allow them to dwell on fears or imagination of what might happen.
- Minimize fears by limiting scary TV shows.
- If it is an older child, consider introducing him or her to some of the children who are in the class and arranging play dates.
- Prepare the child--read books about going to school.
- Make shopping for school supplies a special event just for that child.
- Expect a child to be more tired and possibly more irritable than usual when he or she starts Kindergarten or first grade for the first few weeks.
- When leaving, give a quick kiss and hug and cheerfully say goodbye.
- Don't prolong your departure or come back several times.