Tuesday, 22 August 2017

First Day of Kindergarten - Tips on How to Deal with the Separation

Now that the school year has started, I’m sure that most of you teachers have a couple of kids who are going through a rough patch adapting to the daily routines and separating from their parents in the morning. And that’s totally normal, especially for children who have just started kindergarten, or who have moved from a different one.

I can’t help but be empathetic towards the little ones, who suddenly find themselves in a totally new environment, with no friends around (not yet) and with their parents gone. But making this transition a smooth one will help them enjoy being in kindergarten in no time.

I’ve been working as a kindergarten teacher for seven years, and every beginning of the year seems the same. But now I have less activities planned for the first week, so I can focus more on making the kids feel welcomed and comfortable playing with their new colleagues. But what we have always been trying to do is have an adaptation period for new children. Depending on the child’s individual traits and her age, it might take longer to get used to this big change.

That’s why how this adaptation period goes depends on each child and the parents. At the beginning, the parents can spend some time playing with their child in the daycare to visit the place and get used to it. After that, when the child officially starts kindergarten, she can have short days to explore the environment on her own. The time spent by the child alone in the daycare can be then gradually extended, day by day.

Getting parents ready for this process is also very important. What we usually do is send some tips before kindergarten starts. Although the child might have previously been in a kindergarten, this change can still be tough. I know that it’s terribly hard to leave your kid in tears every morning, but here’s some things that parents could do to get over these hard moments faster:

· If you say you’ll leave, do just that

But before you leave, explain to your child why that is. Ensure her that you will come back when work is over, and that you’ll be able to spend more time together in the evening.

· Acknowledge your child’s feelings

Acknowledging your child’s feelings helps kids see we empathize with them. They will understand that we care about their feelings, and that how they feel is important.

· Don’t sneak out

Sneaking out of the room when your kid isn’t looking never works. It makes matters worse, because when he notices you are gone, he will go through strong emotions, and his fear of abandonment will just be fueled by the event.

· Keep calm, and go to work/leave

Reassure your child that she’s in good hands, and that the teacher will help her and comfort her until the parents will pick her up in the afternoon. If you trust leaving your child with the teacher, your little one will feel that and trust him/her too.

Before you go, hug your kid, say you love him, and then leave the teacher with him. Keeping your calm and not seeming scared or sad helps the child overcome her sadness. I know that’s not an easy thing to do, especially when your child is screaming at you not to leave. It is a hard thing to do, but putting a smile on your face will definitely help.

I hope that all these will help you make this process easier for your little ones. If you have any other tips, please leave them in your comments. :)

Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll have an amazing school year!

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