My Facebook news feed is filled with photos of kids on their first day of school and I love it! I love seeing such happy posts! Children are reaching milestones this week! First time to go to school, moving up to a higher level, new friends and new environment!
However, it's not all fun. The first week is usually an adjustment period for kids and some of them may not be as excited about it as we are. Some can easily adjust while some might need a little time but that's okay, things will be just fine mama! As parents, what we can do is to help them transition smoothly as best as we can. If your kid seems to be having a hard time adjusting and is always crying at school, here are some of the things that you can do.
1. Tears are okay! Don't beat yourself up if your kid is THAT kid who cries in the corner of the class room or holds on to your arm for dear life. This is pretty normal especially for preschool children during their first few weeks. To them, you are the only familiar face in a sea of strangers in an unfamiliar environment. What you can do is to show them how to make friends and that it's going to be okay.
2. Re-introduce your kid to the teacher. If your kid has been crying since day one, re-introduce her to the teacher. Let your kid see that you trust the teacher and that she can too! Let your child hear you ask the teacher to watch over her/him and gush over how much fun they are going to have that day!
3. Get the names of one or two of his or her classmates and introduce them to each other. If your kid is the shy one, show him or her how to make friends. Say hello to his or her classmates and introduce them to each other. Showing your kid how easy it can be to start making friends will help make the transition easier. Plus, knowing someone else's name will give your kid a sense of familiarity and who knows, they might be excited to go back to school the following day because they will see their new friends again!
4. Don't betray their trust! Never try to trick them and dash for the exit as soon as their attention is somewhere else. It has to be clear to them that they can trust you and that you need to go BUT you will come back for them as soon as class is done. If you try to escape thinking that they will be able to adjust easier that way, the opposite can happen. They will now be more clingy because they don't want you to just suddenly disappear.
5. Make goodbyes quick. Once your kid is okay about you leaving for a few hours, leave as soon as you've said your goodbyes. Do not linger and peek through the windows! Most schools do not allow the parents to stay for a long time anyway. You want to make sure that your kid will now be able to focus on exploring their new environment and not to check if you are still there.
6. Be there as soon as school is out if possible. I know how hard this can be especially for us working moms. However, if work schedule will allow it, your kid will love it if they see you as soon as class ended. Nothing beats a welcoming hug from a familiar face after a day full of adjustments.
7. Talk to them about school when you get home. Ask about the exciting things that happened at school and sound excited! What you're trying to do here is to rub off that excitement on them.
8. Let the tears fall, mama. And I'm not talking about your kid's tears, I'm talking about the ones on the brink of jumping off from your eyes. I have to admit, I ugly-cried the first time my kids went to school. That's okay! This is a big achievement and you know how we parents can be so emotional seeing our kids grow up right before our eyes. First day of school is a milestone for both child and parents. Cry, give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself how awesome you've been. You earned it!
Jhanis V. - Top 10 Blogs Voice Boks Comedy Edition, featured on BlogHer.com, HumorWriters.org, Bloggys 2015 - Finalist, Family and Relationships Category. She blogs at The Vanilla Housewife and The Cebu Gazette.
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