Many children experience anxiety transitioning in to school. Although we cannot encase our children in a cloud of protection, there are things that we can do to help minimize possible anxiety.
1. Introduce your child to his/her teacher.
The teachers arrive at school a few days prior to the day the children start. Perhaps you can touch base with your child’s teacher and arrange a short meeting. Meeting the teacher helps to reduce possible anxiety related to meeting new people.
2. Help your child to become familiar with the inside of the school.
Walk your child through the process of ‘arriving at school’. Have fun as you walk through the school entry door; walk the hall to the child’s classroom; walk the child from the classroom to the washroom, gym, music room, door to recess area, and any other areas where your child will go.
3. Take your child to the school’s washroom.
This helps your child get acquainted with the set-up of a school washroom, perhaps with multiple toilets and sinks.
4. Play with your child on the school’s playground.
Help your child experience the playground in a context that is supporting, enticing, and fun! Experiencing the playground for the first time in the context of many other children may be overwhelming for your child.
5. Model and imitate what other children typically do while on the playground during recess.
Attempt to play in a child-like manner with your little one. Of course, the best scenario is to have some of your child’s peers join in the fun!
Entering school can be an overwhelming experience for your child. Participating in the activities above allows your child to focus on other new experiences.