Negosentro.com | How to Help Your Child Overcome Fear and Anxiety of Kindergarten | There will be many firsts in your child’s life. Some are exciting, like the first walk or the first word, but some are stressful for the child, as well as parents. Kindergarten is one of those times and finding the right approach to alleviate your child’s fear and anxiety is imperative.
Although it sounds like a challenge for a parent and child, it’s possible to overcome this with some strategic and careful methods. So, let’s see what you can do to help your child adapt to kindergarten and start a new chapter in their growing-up.
Deal with your anxiety first
You’ll be certainly nervous about your child starting kindergarten and they can feel that. Separation anxiety can be all-consuming but try to manage it with meditation, therapy, yoga, or any other way that would calm you down. Understanding the good sides of daycare, like socialization, education, and independence, can also help you accept you and your child being apart for a few hours.
Socialize them from the early age
By now, your friends and family members have children of their own, so you can invite them to play dates to socialize with your child. Getting used to the company of their peers makes children more comfortable when they start kindergarten. It can teach them to communicate, share, and bond with other kids which will help them get used to the new social environment faster.
Based on the 2015 conclusion of a study that lasted for 20 years, children who developed positive social relationships in kindergarten are more likely to become successful adults. This research showed that early development of social skills may help your child be better in life, schooling, and work.
Don’t make a big deal out of it
If you don’t make a fuss over their first day of kindergarten, it may not turn into a high-stress event for your child. Be nonchalant about it like it’s no more special than going to the park or a store. Talk to them about kindergarten early on and introduce it as a normal part of their lives.
Always concentrate on the positive aspects that your kid will understand, such as meeting new friends, playing, and drawing. By not making a big deal out of it won’t put high expectations before them and make them anxious about fulfilling them.
Create a goodbye ritual
A special handshake, a rhyme, or exchange of words only you two will understand can be a goodbye ritual for when you drop them off at kindergarten. It will help both you and your child not to see that moment as separation, but as growing up.
If you can’t come up with anything, use a superhero stance. According to a 2010 study, power posing can lower stress hormone cortisol levels, boost confidence, and build self-esteem. There is more than one superhero pose, so you won’t have trouble finding the perfect one for you and your child.
Take it slow
Choose the right kindergarten
Of course, you won’t enroll your child in the kindergarten around the corner without exploring other options in the area. Look only for licensed daycare centers that offer a stimulating environment for children to socialize and learn. Professional institutions with long traditions like St Ives Chase Kindergarten use programs that welcome your input and follow the newest trends and recommendations.
To choose the right kindergarten, read reviews online, join groups for parents, and take suggestions from the people you trust. Also, remember that this is a process so be thorough with your research to choose the best daycare you can afford.
Tour the kindergarten
Most of the kindergartens will be glad to show you around their premises and help you get a better feel of what they offer. Bring your child with you and find out what they think about the kindergartens you visited. If possible, sit through some of the activities or leave your youngling for an hour to see if this environment is the right one for them.
Work with the teachers
Talk to the kindergarten teachers before bringing your child to find a way to make this transition easier. Some daycare allows you to stay with your child in the beginning so they can adapt to the change without the stress from separation.
Teachers have years of experience that can help your child overcome the fear and anxiety of kindergarten. Join forces with them, tell them if your child has any special interests or issues, and participate in activities with other parents.
The bottom line
Starting a kindergarten is only one of many occasions that may bring fear and anxiety to your child. If you find the right approach for one, you may be able to lessen the stress of others to come. After all, teaching your child and yourself independence from each other early on can make your relationship healthier and supportive.
Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several websites.