As the dust begins to settle in the new year, how has your child settle in his or her first few days in school so far?

It is of course, wonderful if your child has taken to school life like fish to water, however, not all children may adapt the same way or at the same pace. It may be infuriating to deal with a wailing kid every morning or afternoon. However, your patience and understanding of your child’s situation is exactly what he or she needs at the moment to help him or her in adapting to school. While three years in kindergarten may have given your child some form of preparation for life in school, certainly, nothing quite compares to the real thing. The increase in intensity in terms of timing and learning, especially to a young child, may be too much to take suddenly. Being in an entirely new environment with unknown faces all around him, and school can be very intimidating to a young child.

Look for signs of anxiety in your child and help him or her to soothe these fears. Take the time every day to sit down with your son or daughter and talk him through his or her timetable the next day and what he or she can expect. After which, pack his or her school bag together so that your child can have the confidence that he or she is ready for the school day. Set up a schedule for your child to follow if you had not done so already. While the early days may be difficult, this will help your child to develop a rhythm day to day which will help him or her feel more settled down.

Find the opportunity to talk to your child’s teachers. Allow them to understand your child better while at the same time, try to understand from the teachers what issues your child may be facing in the class room.

Being in a results oriented society such as ours, it can be easy as parents, for us to become obsessed by our children’s academic performance, without us even noticing it. However, it is early days yet, and at this stage, it is more important to get your child to enjoy school first. As such, allow him or
her ample time to unwind after school and do the things he or she enjoy or watch his or her favourite cartoons as long as he or she is up to date in completing the assignments given by the teachers. Bonding time between parent and child is of course always important, so make yourself available to lend a listening ear to your child and hear about his or her day in school everyday. As compared with kindergarten, your child will be given more autonomy in doing certain things, such as going to the toilet and buying food or stationaries. Practise with your child often at home, to make sure that he or she knows how to clean up properly or how to calculate what amount of change to get back in different situations. Practise definitely makes perfect and the more practise your child gets, the more confident he or she will be in facing the different situations he or she may face.

It is always stressful, even as adults, when venturing to an entirely new environment, much less for a six year old kid! Never stop with your encouragement and support for your child and very soon, you may be surprised yourself as to how excited your child has found school to be.

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