For young children ages 1 to 4 years old, home is the only place that they have known so far that is synonymous with the words safety and comfort. Other places such as a school are vulnerable and unknown places for them that can cause anxiety or excitement, it depends on some factors. Like if the child’s personality is positive or melancholy, it will differ. Also, how parents prepare their children will have a great impact on how the kids look at schooling.
1) Talk with your child about this new change. Share with your child the beauty of entering school with eagerness and self-confidence. Discuss with your child why is it needed to go to school, what he will be doing, who he will be with, what should he expects, etc.
2) Study all about the school ahead of time. As a parent, it’s your duty to learn a lot about the school that your child is entering. What the school offers in regards to its facilities, teachers, staffs, non academic activities, etc. If your child shows a specific talent at an early age like if his good in music, then you can enroll him on a day care that has an extra-curricular activity in music. If he loves to run around then you can sign him up on a preschool that has lots of physical activities. Or if his great in drawing then you can put him in a daycare that specialized in art.
3) Explore the center with your child before his first day. Going around the school together before it starts can make a child feel safe. Especially since your child is with you and you are his sense of protection. Thus, he will approve that this new place is safe. However, children are still young, not all will think this way yet still be with them. It has a huge good impact to children than you think.
5) Give your child a moral support by staying with her during the inevitable first day. This is difficult for most parents due to busy work schedules. However, there’s no preparation as great as when you are there on their first day. Again, you are their symbol of security; you should be there in that unfamiliar place.
Now that your child has finally set his foot into the water, observe your child’s reaction on this new change of his life. Did he go home smiling or crying? Watch if he is having a good or a bad time adjusting in school. Talk with your child about his experiences. However, if you think that he’s not good, what measures should you do to ease his anxiety about preschool?
- Parents should talk about the worries that they suspect their children have in a cool manner. Children don’t usually open up themselves so take the initiative to open the topic. Patiently, asked them about their experience at school. When they started talking, you should listen attentively. Then, take up the matter with the child’s care provider, teacher or coach.
- Observe your child at school. Remain in constant contact with the adult in charge and consider volunteering or helping out in the classroom where you can quietly observe interactions.
- Put your child in another social environment. Try to put your child in different places with other children and look carefully at your child’s reactions. By observing, you’ll know what the reason of your child’s problem is. Is your child’s anxiety is because he is afraid of other people? Is it because you’re not there? Or is it something else like maybe his hot-headedness makes him close to a fight? Reflect on his reactions. Think whether a simple change in classrooms or to a different care setting or teacher could help resolve the issue.
- Ask for help, if necessary. Speak with professionals. Don’t be ashamed to talk with a school counselor or child psychologist. It’s not your fault if you don’t know what to do further. Same with your children, you are also learning to be a better person, in your case, as a responsible parent.