Starting KindergartenTue, 15th Mar 2016
Starting Kindergarten Can Be An Anxious Time for Parents:
Relinquishing your three or four year old child over to kindergarten and totally new environment, can cause anxiety in many parents. It's the first time for many where they'll be left without a parent for an extended period of time. As a mum to two boys, now aged 10 years and 12 years, I can still vivdly remember my heart racing as we drove to "first Day" and the energy it took to hide it from my son. No doubt you'll worry, you'll miss them and even have a secret little cry, but there are some helpful tips that can make the transition to kinder very positive and rewarding.....it really is an exciting time for your little one to gain some independence and therefore resilience and self belief.
Some Parental Concerns When you Child Starts Kinder:
*You might be concerned that your chid will be scared. Many parents will worry that their child will miss them too much and cry. Maybe they might have a teary moment while at kinder, but this isn't unusual and the kinder teachers have incredible skills and ways to help your child overcome any worries or fears they may have. Communication is the key here. Talk to your child's teacher so they can anticipate any little anxieties. As parents its a good idea to stay strong as children are intuitive and can pick up if you are stressed or anxious. Save your tears for after the drop off, when you are alone.
*You worry that they'll miss you. More than likely mums and dads will probably miss their child more than they'll miss you. Children are busy at kinder, playing, building, eating and resting. The day will end before they know it and its a good idea to reassure your child that you'll be there to meet them at the end of the kinder session. (I made the mistake of trying to sneak out once while my child played outside....not a good idea, he was very upset when he found out I'd disappeared!)
*Maybe they'll get lost! Kindergartens can look like a big space and they will learn about the toilets and resting and eating areas. Try to visit the kinder before starting your first session so it feels familiar. Ideally, get toilet training done before starting. You can always pack a change of clothes in case of a toilet accident.
*Will they eat their lunch??? Kindergarten is about socializing and you child will learn to sit and eat their lunch quietly and politely with other children. Manners will be learnt and also how to open lids, containers and unlock lunch boxes. I remember having to show my little one some of those skills at home so he would be more confident opening all his lunch items at kinder.
*Will my child make friends? If children are happy socially they tend to be more engaged in their learning. When I asked my 3 year old what he liked most about kinder he told me "his friends". An important way to make sure your child is happy socially is to help them to control their impulses. Try to help your child navigate away from showing any frustrations by hitting out or verbally being aggressive toward others. Role playing at home, learning to share and take turns giving compliments and using manners will help engage with their peers positively. Having a few playdates with other children before starting kinder and watching their interactions will also assist in fostering great social skills.
Kindergarten is a wonderful, safe and nurturing environment where children are encouraged and supported to develop confidence and independence, self awareness and a feeling of self-worth. They will become engaged with the world around them and develop warm, caring friendships. The routine and structure of a kinder program with play based learning will strengthen a range of skills that will be used throughout thier lives. The memories and experiences you share with your child during their kinder years will be cherished and form a very special bond.
Some great ideas for your kinder kid to play with (and they may have these at their kinder):