Is your child anxious about starting school?
I remember when my eldest child started school. They were was so excited. I was anxious... Will they like it? What will their teacher be like? How can I help? Do I stay in the classroom? The questions were endless. We had done some orientation but it was still a bit scarey. Together we negotiated the year. They had a wonderful teacher. She was strict, but clear, with us newbie parents and we felt a part of the class.
If you're feeling some of my first day at school nerves, have a think about your first day at a new job, or walking into a new group of people. What helps - some knowledge, preparation, confidence, a friendly smile - these will help your child too. With just a little bit of luck, drop them off confidently with a big smile, and your confidence will transfer to your child (then meet up with the other Prep parents to express your concerns and try and find answers to your questions).
There are three main areas to focus on as part of the going to school transition: knowledge, preparation, confidence.
Signs of excessive anxiety in your child
These may include them continually asking you the same questions; having nightmares; changes in their eating or sleeping habits or other behaviour; crying or becoming angry for no reason; regressing to previous developmental stages such as wetting the bed, sucking their thumbs; saying they don’t want to go to school; and/or showing no interest in going to school.
Nothing seems to help
If you find these strategies are not helping maybe your child is not ready for school. There is no evidence supporting that starting your child at school early is beneficial. In many cases giving them a bonus year at Kindergarten is the best decision.
Experience and research have told us much about creating school success, Having worked with 1000s of children, adolescents and parents for over 17 years, Positive Young Minds offers private consultations where you can talk about your concerns and we can help you work through a plan to address the tricky bits of your child's educational journey.
If you prefer to learn on your own time, the Secrets of School Success online self-paced program is opening soon.
Child Psychologist, Fierce Self-Care Advocate and Founder of Positive Young Minds
* These articles are provided by Kim Ross, Psychologist for general information and education . They are not designed to be used for therapy.. If you are experiencing stress please contact your GP or mental health professional.
Kim Ross is an Online Psychologist and Founder of Positive Young Minds and Private Practice Sustainability.