Tellakos | No matter if you’re little one has already started kindergarten and is anxious every time you prepare to drop them off or if they are yet to start and are expressing fears that they don’t want to be away from you, it’s of the utmost importance that you help your kid not be afraid of going to the child care center you’ve enrolled them in. If you’re not sure how to approach this seemingly difficult task, read on for some essential advice.
Make sure they understand how important kindergarten is:
For starters, you can try to appeal to their common sense and explain how important kindergarten is. Teach them about various activities they will do and things they will learn. Tell them that it will help them make friends and properly prepare them for school and other success in life. However, remember not to put too much pressure on your child as that can increase their fears.
Consider downplaying the milestone:
On the other hand, you can also try downplaying this big milestone. Treat the first day of kindergarten like any other day and pretend like nothing is different. That way, you will not build up any expectations and instill your kids with the fear of going away from home every day. Compare it to sports practice or a piano lesson. Explain that they are simply going to a place with many other kids where they will have loads of fun.
Show them how you deal with your anxiety:
While you should do your best not to show how nervous you are because they are starting kindergarten, you can show them how you deal with your own anxiety. For example, tell them about how you were nervous on your first day of school or work. Maybe your hands were clammy in the beginning but you got through that somewhat difficult first day, made friends, and feel much better when you need to go to work nowadays.
Teach them a coping method:
Sometimes, just encouraging words are not enough to get rid of kindergarten fears. In that case, you can consider teaching your child a coping method that will help alleviate the anxiety they are feeling. Perhaps they can learn to talk back to their fear and tell it to go away. Come up with a phrase that can put your little one in control and lower their anxiety. Something else you can try is a memento of sorts that your kid will always keep nearby and touch when they feel scared. It can ground them and show them you are coming to pick them up in no time. A keychain, pebble, or necklace can all do the trick.
Pick a quality center with reliable teachers:
Something that will help you lower your anxiety and make sure your child is in good hands is choosing a quality center with trustworthy teachers. Licensed daycare centers like St Ives Chase Kindergarten will ensure your little one is in a safe and welcoming place that will encourage them to play, explore, and make friends. Childcare centers like these focus on the link between the home and the kindergarten, which means that the child’s family also has input in terms of the program.
Allow them to get familiar with the school:
Once you pick a kindergarten, you should ask around to see if you can take your kid on a tour of the premises. Visit the school and have the teachers show you the classroom, playground, bathrooms, and school office. If a visit in person is not possible, see whether there is a layout and pictures online.
Encourage them to open up:
In case your kid already started kindergarten and seems scared every time it’s time to go, it’s vital that you get down to the root of the problem. Sit down with them and encourage them to open up to you. There is nothing that they can tell that will make you love them less so make sure they know that. See whether they are having a hard time making friends, if they are teased by other kids, or finding it hard to follow the program. Knowing more about what is bothering them is essential for being able to solve the problem.
Don’t avoid things that trigger anxiety:
Lastly, it is very important that you understand that you and your child should not avoid things that cause them anxiety. Avoiding kindergarten can help in the short term but you might create various long-term problems for your child. Moreover, by not doing something, the fear can actually increase and the child will not learn how to manage their anxiety. What you want to do is find ways that can help your kid tolerate anxiety and decrease it over time.
Starting kindergarten can be difficult for both you and your child. However, it is important that you do everything in your power to help your kid overcome their fears and have a great kindergarten experience.
Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several websites.