For most children entering their first classroom, it’s also their first time away from home for daily extended periods of time. Sharing a classroom with a bunch of other children with different personalities can be overwhelming. Additionally, your child is away from their comfort zone– you. This is enough to make any child develop a significant level of anxiety and homesickness. In order to help your child adjust to their new environment, there are a few things you can do as a parent.
1. Parent-Teacher Bond
Before school starts, there is an open house. This is a time when parents and children get to come to the school and meet their new teachers. They’ll also get a chance to see their new classrooms and their desk. Use this as an opportunity to meet the teacher and develop a positive relationship. When your child sees that their parents are on the same team as the teacher, this will give the teacher some credibility.
Furthermore, make sure to develop a relationship with the teacher and keep them posted regarding how your child feels about school and where their emotions are. An effective teacher is sensitive to those needs and will do everything in their power to create a nurturing environment and make the transition smoother. Consider enrolling your child in a program like Youthland Academy where professionals are highly committed to the concept of a low student-teacher ratio. They follow this method in order to make sure each student gets the specialized attention they need to succeed.
2. Phone Call Away
Part of the reason why so many children feel upset is because there’s a separation anxiety factor. They don’t want to be away from their parents for too long in a new space. Every day, your best bet is to reassure them that you’re not far away. If they ever need anything, they can always give you a call. If they just want to say, “I love you and miss you” for the first week, let them do this. After a while, they’ll get used to the new setting and won’t miss you as much.
To help make the adjustment even easier, it’s a nice idea to volunteer in the classroom. Most teachers welcome an extra pair of hands to help copy worksheets, run errands or run through an exercise or two with the kids. Even if you work a full-time job, see if you can arrange some time (once or twice a quarter) to come into your child’s classroom and volunteer. If you’re a nurse in the healthcare industry, go into the classroom and share more about what you do. You never know how it may inspire a child to follow in your footsteps. This also helps your own child’s comfort level. It may do so much for helping them get adjusted to their new environment.
These three tips can potentially help your child and are worth trying. Some tactics may feel a little more convenient than others but give them all a try. Your child is worth it. Remind them how brave they are for going to school and encourage them to go back even on the hard days.