How to help your child adjust to Kindergarten

December 17, 2015, Chennai

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Kindergarten has many advantages — it can be a great place for children to interact with other children of their own age and learn valuable life lessons such as how to share, be kind, take turns, and follow rules.

It also can prepare them for grade school and beyond.

But going to Kindergarten does come with its fair share of emotions, for both the parent and the child. For a child, entering a new Kindergarten environment filled with unfamiliar children, teachers can cause both a lot of anxiety and anticipation. Parents might have mixed emotions about whether their child is ready for Kindergarten, separation anxiety and fear that nothing should happen to their child.

The more comfortable you are about your decision and the more familiar the setting can be made for your child, the fewer issues you — and your little child — will have.

Easing Your Child's Fears

Easing children into the Kindergarten environment and making it a familiar setting is crucial to a smooth transition.  Here are some great ways to do just that:

1. Spend time talking with your child about Kindergarten even before it starts. 

2. Before the first day, gradually introduce your child to activities that often take place in a classroom right from your home. A child accustomed to scribbling with paper and crayons at home, for example, will find it comforting to find the same crayons and paper in his or her Kindergarten classroom.

3. Make them follow the same schedule at home as it will be in Kindergarten

4. Take your child along and show them their new kindergarten to make it familiar territory.

5. If possible, during that visit , also introduce your  child to various teachers so that they become familiar faces too.

6. If the school allows you, while you're in the classroom, let your child explore and observe the class and choose whether to interact with other children. The idea is to familiarize your child with the classroom and to let him or her get comfortable.

While acknowledging this important step your child is taking and providing support, too much emphasis on the change could make any anxiety worse. Young children can pick up on their parents' nonverbal cues. When parents feel guilty or worried about leaving their child at school, the children will probably sense that.

The more calm and relaxed you are about your choice to send your child to Kindergarten, the more confident your child will be.  Give your child some space to get used to the environment on their own.

The First Day

The first day can be pretty nightmarish for you or your child if you are not prepared.

Remember, stay calm!

When you enter the kindergarten classroom on the first day, calmly reintroduce the teacher to your child, and then take a back seat.  Let the teacher take over.  This will reassure the child that he or she is in safe hands.

After all you preparation, If your child clings to you or refuses to participate in the class, don't get worried — this may only upset your child more. Suggestions for leaving kids at Kindergarten are simple but can be hard on a parent. Always say a caring and loving goodbye to your child, but once you do, you should leave immediately. Don’t linger. 

Help your child set up predictable routines before the first day so that even on the first day, they are following the same routine.

Many Kindergarten schools begin with a daily ritual, such as circle time (when teachers and children talk about what they did the day before and the activities they will do that day). Kindergartener children respond to well to this kind of predictability, and following a routine will help ease the move from home to school.


Shubha Janardhan is the Co-Creator of Nidara.  

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