Sending a child to kindergarten can be an overwhelming experience for both child and parents. It is a big deal, and is the beginning of a new stage in the child’s life.
Parents need to be prepared for this big event to ensure the transition to kinder is as smooth as possible.
Some aspects of the first day will be easy to prepare for. You already know your child will need basic things like new clothes, supplies, books, medical forms and a backpack as these are standard kinder items.
But other things, like forming a routine may be difficult to obtain if you don’t normally have one. As a parent, it is a good idea to get a routine happening such as showers, getting dressed, breakfast, making the bed and lunches, so that you can establish how long it will take to get going in the morning.
It is best to establish this kinder routine so that the child can get used to what days they have kinder, and will be into a pattern come school time.
In a way, kinder is like the end of infancy, a coming of age for your child. This is why it is important that you make a big deal out of going to kinder and put some excitement into their first day as a “big kid”.
The purpose of kindergarten is to help your child begin transition to school, and although not compulsory it is recommended your child have at least two years in a kinder environment.
You should encourage your child to be excited about kinder and all the things they will learn. Make sure you talk positively about kindergarten, even if you are not comfortable with the idea of your child growing up.
One of the common problems when children leave for kinder is separation anxiety. Both the child and parents can have separation issues and it can cause the child distress. In some cases kinder is the first time a child has been separated from their parents for a long period of time.
The key to eliminating this fear is to test drive separation periods. In the months prior to kindergarten make sure you take some time apart, and get used to the idea. This will help the child settle, and they will understand when it comes time to go to kinder.
Getting to know the kinder teacher will also help your child to settle in to their new patterns. Kindergarten teachers will take special interest in every child and are genuinely helpful in preparing your child for school. Talk to the teacher and discuss their goals for your child. If you are in sync with the child’s kinder experience, you can reinforce the values with encouragement and interest at home.