Worried Star’s 6 tips to help your child prepare for a new school.
“Mummy? I don’t want to go to school!”
We’ve all heard it at some time or another. From children who are feeling poorly, to children who are just about to start school or a new class.
It’s a HUGE step for children who have been secure in the comfort of their nursery, playgroup, child minder or indeed at home.
How do we deal with children who are worried about leaving the comfort and security of what’s been their home for maybe several years?
How can I help my child prepare for new school?
Here are 6 tips to help you boost your child’s confidence and to lesson those worries.
Set aside time to talk.
If your child seems to be fine at the prospect of going to school, leave it. You may bring something up that the child hasn’t thought about that they may turn into a concern.
On the other hand, if you notice your child behaving differently:
- being unusually quiet.
- becoming over sensitive.
- not sleeping.
- off their food.
- bed wetting.
Then it’s time for a sensitive chat. Be careful not to put thoughts into their head by asking “Are you worried about school?”
Simply say that you’ve noticed them behaving differently and ask if there’s anything on their mind. Remind them that you are always there to listen to them at any time.
I always used art as an opener. Children love to draw and colour, especially if mummy or daddy are sitting with them. And I find that the remedial effect of art opens up children’s thoughts and speech.
Invite their class mates for tea.
Some children will be making the transition to school with friends from their setting, or with older brothers and sisters. Many children worry about losing the friends that they have made at their old setting and who won’t be joining them.
It’s a good idea to invite both parties for a play date. A child from their old setting and another time a child from their new one.
Then your child will feel confident that they are not losing a friend as they can see them outside school time and allows your child to make bonds with new friends.
It’s on the calendar!
Children like routine. They need routine. They like to know exactly what’s going on at any given moment.
“Mummy, what time are we going?”
“Mummy, when are we going home?”
“Daddy, what are we doing next?”
“What time’s tea?”
I always had a wipe on wipe off calendar where I noted down what we were doing each day and what time. Doing this gives children a sense of security and boundaries and helps their reading!
It’s so easy to buy everything you will need for your children’s school on line!
Children want to be involved in what clothes they will be wearing and what item they will be using.
So, if you can, try to go shopping for school clothes, lunch boxes and back packs with your child. Within reason, let them chose what they want to wear. It might be a bit optimistic finding a school jumper with a unicorn or Baby Shark emblazoned upon it!
Back packs, lunch boxes and water bottles, let them take their pick.
Many schools now have websites detailing the equipment your child will need.
Don’t for get the dreaded labels! The iron on ones are perfect and save so much time!
A word of warning:
Please don’t have your child’s name dangling from their book bag, ruck sack or lunch box. You don’t want strangers knowing your child’s name!
Drop ’em off, say “Goodbye” and go!
This is where YOU are going to have to be strong! It’s desperately emotional for parents to see their babies trot off into an unknown world without you there to guide them.
Smile proudly and say “I’ll see you later – I love you!”
Save your tears for when you reach the car! Then have a well deserved howl! Try to meet up with a friend for a coffee and a chat. Talking with other mums and dads really helps.
When you pick them up after school? Well, funny you should ask as my blog here gives you some useful tips!
You did good!
Finally, give yourselves a huge pat on the back! You got this far! It seems eons ago that you were researching “Reflux in babies” and “Is my baby constipated?”
Now they’re eating and pooing like nobody’s business!
Enjoy this time. I can tell you, with adult children of my own, it’s so, so fleeting! Take lots of photos and videos. Share your child’s journey, make a scrap book or a folder just for their school days on your P.C.
I envy you young parents, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!
My Mood Stars are an ideal resource to help children’s emotional well being. Worried/Scared Star is included and can be a highly effective Star for eking out your child’s worries or fears.
The My Mood Stars workbook is also available. This workbook is ideal for non-verbal children or for those children who find it easier to communicate through images and art.
Thank you for reading this blog – I hope it has helped you. You’ve done and excellent job!