Preparing children to start school
Starting school is a huge milestone in a child’s life. It is not surprising that seven in 10 parents worry about their child settling in.
A poll of 1,000 parents also found that 70 per cent are worried their child won’t make friends when starting school, while three in 10 are anxious about their child’s behaviour and being able to manage the toilet by themselves.
Other concerns include; liking their teacher, not eating their lunch, losing their belongings, not drinking enough water, getting lost and being bottom of the class.
Psychologist Linda Blair said: “It’s natural for the whole family to feel nervous on your child’s first day at school—and remember, other parents will be feeling nervous as well.”
She added: “To make friends children must be able to consider life from other people’s points of view so they can appreciate and react to what others want to do and enjoy.
“Although young children show they’re capable of appreciating other viewpoints, they don’t normally apply this skill until they’re about five-years-old. This is why it’s important to start introducing them to this skill at a young age. Once they can understand empathy it will feel like second nature to them to behave in those adaptive ways.”
She suggests parents should find out who will be in their child’s class and arrange regular play dates, read their child stories about making friends and set a good example by showing their child positive interaction.
As starting school can be a daunting time both for the child and their parents, there are certain things mums and dads can do to prepare their children and themselves for the big day.
Top tips include:
- Become familiar with the school
- Help your child develop the skills they need to be independent
- Talk positively to your child about starting school
- Listen to any anxious feelings or fears they may have
- Talk about what they can expect
- Read books about starting school
- Share memories of your first week at school
- Avoid discussing any negative feelings you may have out loud
- Reassure your child you will be picking them up in ‘a few hours’
- Plan a treat for the end of the school day, such as a trip to the park.
Our Liverpool Day Nursery understands that the transition to school from day nursery can be a worrying time, but we ensure that the children in our care are ready to face that transition. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s transition, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss this with you.