When the big day finally arrives, the excitement is at its height, and a lot of emotions run through your child, and you too, the parents.
Entering the “big” world can cause some fears, so how do you calm those fears and make that 1st day a great, joyful day for the whole family!
“You’re big, you’re going to school” or the art of preparing your child (and yourself)
Being big is very relative: your child was the big one in nursery but will be the youngest in school. So you can tell him “now that you are almost three years old, you have learned great things at nursery or at home, you will be able to go to school to discover new things.” to avoid pressure or being surprised.
Telling your child that he is big is still true: it is an important step because at school, the organization is different from what he or she has known. You can point to all the progress already made and all the progress he/she will still be able to make by going to school. This is an important period in terms of acquiring autonomy.
Autonomy also means the beginning of independence for your child: he/she will learn to do things by him/herself (under the watchful and benevolent gaze of the teachers) and will need you less. Ask yourself the question: are you ready for him/her to live part of his/her day without you?
“I was the most worried”: identify negative emotions to fully live the moment:
- Are the adults going to be as attentive as at the crèche or at the nanny’s?
At school, children learn to do things by themselves, to help each other, to wait, if they need help and to manage on their own, because adults do less things for them. But let’s be reassured: At the ARCO IRIS bilingual school, on the first day of the school year, the team will be (even more) numerous and will take great care of your child.
- What should I do when leaving my child?
You might be tempted to tiptoe away… while he/she is playing quietly or while the teacher has his/her attention, but this is not the right solution because it will create a feeling of uncertainty in your child, very distressing: It takes courage to tell your child “I’m leaving” and see that he’s disappointed, sad, but you’re helping him build a relationship of trust with you and with the teachers So warn: “I’m still doing a puzzle with you, then I’m leaving”. And, when the time comes, say clearly: “See you later!”, and remember when you come to pick him/her up.
Remember why you chose this school, think with what enthusiasm your child will enjoy the activities, meet people and discoveries, even if the moment of separation is a little painful.
This makes it easier to live with the separation.
- What if my child starts crying?
It’s hard to see your child cry…
Listening to him is important: “You’re crying, I understand, it’s a big change today”. Children’s crying often passes quickly… once the parent is gone.
Leaving is essential: staying too long after saying you are leaving creates insecurity in the child who no longer knows whether you are staying or not, who remains focused on your presence rather than being interested in the activities and people around him.
“I’m handing you over to the mistress so you can play and I’ll be right back, as we said” allows the child to understand that you are passing the baton to the adult who is there for him. This also allows the teacher to fully assume her role: to make herself available to the child and to introduce him/her to his new environment.
Thus, things are clear and the child is reassured and will be able to dry his tears faster (provided he does not see you behind the window 😉
At ARCO IRIS bilingual school, the start of the new school year is smooth with a very short first separation and, the following days, the separation is adapted to the needs of each one.
- What if he doesn’t make any friends?
Some are very sociable, others need to observe before starting. You can draw his attention to children who like the same games as him/her and reassure him/her by reminding him/her that s.he has made friends at the nursery, at the park and that s.he will be able to make them at school.
At ARCO IRIS bilingual school, the teachers are attentive to ensuring that the children feel good, playing, observing, according to their mood at the time.
To remember :
- It is normal for children and parents to have some concerns about entering kindergarten.
- Talk with your child about his/her fears. This will then allow you to reassure him/her.
- It’s also important to find ways to calm your own fears, so you don’t pass them on to your child.
To go further: Petite école, grande rentrée, Myriam Szejer, Bayard
The reflection of a psychoanalyst on the meaning of the return to kindergarten, which invites parents to immerse themselves in their own relationship to school. A must to better accompany our children during this great stage.