There comes a day that every parent simultaneously dreads and looks forward to, and that’s the first-day jitters of kindergarten. On this day, a child will enter an environment that’s more structured than their daycare. They will also be away from their parents longer and in the prolonged company of their teachers and classmates—which is a scary prospect for many children.
Given how many new experiences they’ll encounter on their first day of school, it’s perfectly understandable for your child to have the jitters about it. Frankly, you may be more than a little worried yourself. While you’ll likely enjoy the short break you’ll have from supervising your child, you may also be counting the many ways that things could go wrong. What if they throw a tantrum? What if they accidentally hurt themselves while playing? What if they miss you so much that they have a terrible first day in their kindergarten Singapore school?
These first-day jitters are perfectly normal, but if you need a little more assurance, here are some helpful tips for you. Following this set of advice may yield an experience that early years students and their parents can actually look forward to.
Be Prepared to Answer Your Child’s Questions
First, encourage your child to bring any questions about kindergarten to you, and tell them that you can work through the anxiety together. Aside from answering their questions directly, you can help them learn about kindergarten by reading books, having them draw their idea of their first day in school, or even doing some roleplay that takes place in a school setting.
You can pretend to be their teacher or another student who will eventually become their friend. This will allow your child to familiarize themselves with the new experience, which will make them less fearful about it when the first day of school rolls around.
Make Positive Associations About School
At the same time, it would be good to foreground your child’s attention on specific things they can look forward to. Some examples include a delicious packed lunch, the opportunity to play with new toys in the schoolroom, and the prospect of making new friends. The more excited they are about encountering these things, the smoother their first day will be.
Visit the School in Advance
Another helpful thing you can do is take them to the school location before their first day. Some schools in Singapore may offer open houses, and if they don’t, they may at least have the option of a virtual tour. Take these opportunities if you can. Alternatively, you can drive your child to the front of the school and let them have a little time to examine the buildings and the scenery. They will likely feel less nervous on the first day if they can visualize exactly where they’re going.
Walk Them Through Their New Routines
In the weeks leading up to kindergarten, you and your child can practice the tasks that they’ll likely do when they’re at school. These include organizing toys and books, washing their hands by themselves, or responding to teachers and classmates in a polite manner. They can get the hang of the routine at home and then be more confident when they’re actually doing it in the classroom.
Don’t Act Scared When You Drop Them Off
Although you may be just as anxious as your child is, it may not help to show it. If they see that you’re overly worried about the experience, they might not be able to get over their own fear. With that in mind, make sure to do a little mental preparation before the first day. Take deep breaths, acknowledge your feelings, and try to take your mind off the factors you can’t control. Comfort your child on the drive to school, and see them off on a positive note. They’ll take your cue that everything will be alright, and thus, start their kindergarten experience with a little less trepidation.
Ask Them about Their Day
When your kindergartner’s first day is finally over, give them a warm welcome back and ask them about how their day went. Encourage them to share about what they liked, who they met, and what surprised them the most. In short, help them process the experience, as this will also prepare them better for the rest of their kindergarten days.
Here’s some last advice that both you and your kid will benefit from: take things one step at a time. There’s a chance that the first day may not go exactly as planned, and that’s honestly all right. Most children will need a little time to acclimatize to the new setting, the new people, and the new routines. As a parent, you can set the direction for an awesome school year by guiding your child and supporting them constantly.
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