The first day of school can be both an exciting and stressful occasion for children and parents alike. Exciting because it's a milestone, stressful because it means separation. In most families, it causes butterflies and even some tears. With practice, we learn that our child's needs can be taken care of by other adults. With practice, our children learn that other adults can also meet their needs. Children need the security of knowing that other people in the world can care for them. Children also need the experience of being separated from their parents. With every new step in freedom and independence, our children grow.

 

Preparation - yours and your child's - can smooth the transition, however, there are many simple things you can do to help prepare him or her for this new adventure.

 

 

1.- Ask yourself this important question; are you ready?

 

First, ask yourself how you're feeling about this milestone in your child's life. If you're experiencing fear and anxiety, try not to communicate this uneasiness to your child. Children can sense your feelings and will react with fear. 
Gradually you'll begin to feel better about entrusting your child to the care of others. And once you believe school is going to be an exciting experience, there's a good chance your child will feel the same way.
Finally, in deciding if your child is ready for school, consider the timing. Have you recently moved, had a new baby or experienced a family crisis? Has your child been sick? If so, now may not be the best time to start school.

 

2.- Start Early

 

  • Start early to help your child adjust to your occasional absences.

  • Gradually increase the number and length of visits with relatives, friends and other caregivers to improve your child's comfort level around others.

  • Arrange play visits in your home and in other people's homes to help your child improve social skills.

  • Visit the school ahead of time, show your child where the restrooms, water, playground, are.

  • Prepare for the new school experience by using puppets or by role-playing.

  • Read age-appropriate books about going to school to help your child know what to expect. Or work with your child to make a storybook about going to school.

  • Plan a relaxing day or two before school starts. Don't rush back from a family vacation or other stimulating experience.

  • Tell your child in advance that he or she soon will be going to school.

  • Be positive and reassure your child that a school is a good place. Never use school as a threat or a means to change your child's behavior.

  • Prepare the night before by planning meals, clothes and school supplies together. Make it Fun!.

 

3.- The Big Day

 

  • Tell your child how proud you are that he/she is going to school. Talk about the time you went to school, make it fun and positive.

  • Talk about what the day will be like, mention different activities that take place in school, so your child knows what to expect.

  • Reassure your child that you will come to pick him up as soon as work is over.

  • Plan to arrive early and be in no rush, walk your child to the classroom, great the teacher, other children, etc.

  • If necessary, let your child bring a security object to school, like a stuffed toy, or give your child your photo to keep.

  • When you are ready to leave give a quick kiss, a hug and a goodbye with the reminder that you will be back to pick him up. Never, sneak out when you leave; it may make your child feel abandoned and unloved.

  • As hard as it seems, make this time short. Extending the “goodbye” tends to increase the level of anxiety rather than diminish it. Avoid phrases such as, “ok, just one more kiss, one more hug.”

  • Gradually lessen the amount of time you stay.

  • Don't be too concerned if, in spite of your best efforts, your child cries and refuses to leave your side. Clinging and crying are healthy coping mechanisms in very young children, so try not to overreact.

 



4.- A Week after the First Day…

 

Just when you though your child was making great progress, we are back to day one again. Don’t worry this is perfectly normal. Your child is still developing the concept of time and he/she may think that school is a temporary event. Once they get into the routine of going to school every day your child will actually look forward to it!

Avoid the temptation to give in and skip school or cancel altogether. The success of this depends greatly on constancy and firmness. If your child does stay home, do not make it an extra fun day. Remember that the first experiences with separation are important because they are foundations for building the confidence for future separations. Finally, remember that we are here to HELP you, we will work with you and your family to make this transition easier for everyone. 

Sincerely
Mily
Velasquez

 

 

 

 

(305) 644.1514

4211 NW 2nd Terrace Miami, FL 33126