As the new session commences at school, many children would be beginning preschool.
Although it is a major milestone, it often comes with several apprehensions for the child and parents. I still remember the concerns I had, as a mother, when my kids joined school. Will my child be able to eat tiffin? Will they be able to adjust with the teachers and classmates? How will they respond to the new surroundings? Will they cry for the first few days? Will they be comfortable using the washroom? The list was endless.
It is quite natural to feel anxious and to worry about such issues, as your child begins school. This is a novel experience for you and your little one. As a parent, you can facilitate this transition by being proactive.
Be Aware of Your Emotions
It is helpful to be aware of your own emotions and to take care of your feelings. Acknowledge your feelings and manage them.
This is a special experience for the family, and you may want to adjust your schedule to ease out things for your child. It is important to be organized and to do some pre-preparation to leave room for unhurried moments.
It may be beneficial to make a checklist of the things required for the first day of school and to keep all the things in one place. Familiarise your child with their school bag, tiffin, water bottle, and other things to make them comfortable.
Developing Social and Emotional Skills
Your child will now be interacting with new members. Fostering their social and emotional skills will help them adjust better. Encourage them to greet others and to develop good communication skills. Making the child understand how to precisely ask for what they need will facilitate their interactions.
Arrange play dates for children to bond with each other. Help them to identify and name their emotions from a young age. Address any fears they may have about this change in their routine.
How you talk about school is significant. Talk with enthusiasm and in a positive manner.
Encourage your child to have conversations about school. You could also read along books about going to school.
Instil self-confidence in the child by reassuring them and praising them. It is important to appreciate and acknowledge their efforts (for more on this, refer to my article, Encouraging your child the right way https://wellnesswise.in/encouraging-your-child-the-right-way/ ).
As you prepare children for school, create a routine which is in sync with their school timings. This may include sleeping and waking up on time, setting up a routine chart for meals, and other such activities. It helps to set a routine for oneself, which factors in the time to help the child get ready for school, prepare their favourite snacks for tiffin, and talk to them about their emotions. You may also schedule small activities for your child to help them become more self-sufficient and boost their confidence.
Planning what to give your child in their tiffin enables you to save time and confusion. It may also be a good idea to involve the child in this planning. You can choose healthy foods and give them a creative twist, like vegetable sandwiches in animal shapes. Finger foods are easier to eat and less messy. These include rolls, sandwiches, cut fruits, idlis, and more such food items.
A Goodbye Ritual
Planning a short goodbye ritual incorporates a fun and exciting element to the idea of going to school. It enables the child to mentally prepare themselves to enter a different surrounding without their parents. It is also important to reassure children that you or someone from the family will be back to pick them up in some time.
Wish you and your child good luck as you embark on this journey!
Image Source: Freepik