As we all say goodbye to summer and are getting the kids ready to go back to school, sometimes parents have concerns when it comes to making the transition. We worry about our kids dealing with separation or if their teacher will understand their needs. The first day of school brings a whole swarm of different emotions for both parents and children.
Nancy Schulman, head of the Early Learning Center at Avenues: The World School, former longtime director of the renowned 92nd Street Y Nursery School, and co-author of several parenting books, has some helpful do’s and don’ts to help ease separation anxiety and make the first day of school a positive experience:
- ESTABLISH GOOD BEDTIME AND MORNING ROUTINES
- REVIEW TEACHERS NAMES AT HOME
- READ BOOKS TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT BEGINNING SCHOOL
- BE ON TIME FOR ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
- TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF
- CONVEY A POSTIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD SCHOOL—SMILE!
- GREET TEACHERS IN A FRIENDLY MANNER
- POINT OUT THEIR COAT HOOKS AND CUBBIES
- TELL YOUR CHILD WHERE YOU WILL BE AND BE THERE
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS (“I know it’s hard…you’ll be O.K”)
- DURING ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL –FOCUS ON YOUR CHILD. GIVE THEM EXTRA INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION AND QUIET PLAY TIME AT HOME AFTERWARDS
- SAY A SHORT GOODBYE BUT DON’T WAIT FOR A RESPONSE
- WAIT TO SOCIALIZE WITH OTHER PARENTS WHEN YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
- COMMUNICATE ANY SPECIAL CONCERNS TO THE TEACHERS
- BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR CHILDREN—THEY CAN DO THIS!
- TALK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN IN FRONT OF THEM
- ASK YOUR CHILD’S PERMISSION TO LEAVE
- BRING CAMERAS AND VIDEOS ON THE FIRST DAY-FOCUS ON THE MOMENT
- HAVE MORE THAN ONE ADULT BRING YOUR CHILD
- DON’T CARRY YOUR CHILD INTO SCHOOL
- OVER SCHEDULE YOUR CHILD AFTER SCHOOL
- FEEL GUILTY – YOU ARE GIVING THEM A GIFT!
Do you have any tips to share when it comes to getting your kids ready for school? Please share!