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Is your little one nervous about starting school or has already started but cry’s every day? Maybe they are excited about school but you aren’t sure how they will be once they are there and you leave. Read below for some great tips to help your child with anxiety about school.
Lavayla and I have always been together. We are pretty inseparable. My mom or sister have babysat her for an hour or two but only a couple times a year. I have noticed a lot of my friends or people I know always seem to have babysitters for their kids but that isn’t the case for me. Everyone in my family works and has busy lives. I am usually the one babysitting for my sisters.
Earlier this year I applied to get Vay in a Charter school and she was accepted. We were very excited but I did not know their kindergarten classes are a full day. Most schools out here only do a half day for kindergarten which is 4 hours and Vays is 6. I knew her going to school was going to be tough for both of us so I tried to prepare her beforehand.
Preparing her before wasn’t enough. She was excited to start school but she wasn’t ready to not be with mommy all day. The first day of school was a half day and she only cried at drop off. The second day was her first full day. She cried at drop off and the teacher said she cried throughout the day. This broke my heart. I was hoping she just cried at drop off and then was having fun the rest of the day. As the week went on I tried different things to try and help her adjust. These are the six things I did that I felt helped with her anxiety about being at school without mommy.
Prepare them for what will go on at School
I talked with her about school and letting her know her teacher’s names and the things she will be learning. Also, I explained step by step how her morning would go including how her drop off would be and letting her know that I would be there waiting for her when the class was out. I didn’t find out her schedule till after the first day of school so as soon as I had that we went through it so she knew when her brake and lunch would be and what day she has P.E. The more they know the more they feel prepared.
Read books about going to school
There are a lot of great books about going to school. Her first day at school her teacher read them The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn but it’s good to read to them at home before they start school. My daughter loves the Llama Llama Mama books so I read her the Llama Llama misses mamma by Anna Dewdney
Let them pick out their Outfit
Vay loves to pick out her outfits. She gets so excited about seeing herself in everything she picked. In the morning when she was getting ready for school she was really nervous but once she saw herself in the outfit she picked she was excited. Although once we got to the school she was nervous again it did help her when we were at home.
Have fun on the way to School
Once we get in the car I put on all her favorite songs to sing and dance to then when we pull into the school I put on her absolute favorite which is This is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Even as I walk her to class I keep her distracted asking what she wants to be for Halloween or talk about something that we are planning to do. I don’t talk about school as soon as I bring up being in class her eyes start to tear up.
This is a hard one for me but it really does help her. I walk to class with her and have her hang up her backpack and put her lunch box away I then give her a hug and kiss and walk away even when she is crying. The longer I stay the more she cries and doesn’t want to let me go. After I had walked out I went and took a quick look back in her classroom and she had already stopped crying and was working. I know it’s hard to walk away when your little one is so distressed but the teachers are there and will help them.
Plan a Play Date
I wish before school started that we would get to meet all the parents and kids in the class so you could plan a play date before school starts but that isn’t the case we did have an orientation before school started and I did meet one parent and kid in her class and the two girls talked and played while we waited to get our parking pass.
Vays first week she made a friend and she gets to sit next to her in class. Her teacher said they both get sad but they cheer each other up. It’s so much easier for kids when they have a friend when they start school they get so excited when they see each other. I’m so glad Vay made a friend on her own since she is usually really shy. We are planning a play date for the girls so they can play and have fun out of school. Try to find a parent in your child’s class and plan a play date.
These are the six steps I took to help daughter with her anxiety about going to school and in a week, it has really helped. She still is nervous at drop off but the teacher says she is great the rest of the day. I hope you find this helpful for you and your child. It will get easier. If you have any tips you would like to add comment them below.