The transition from preschool to kindergarten is a significant change for children and the whole family. Thinking about what will happen, knowing how to behave shortly, and preparing for new scenarios and child development stages always brings many questions.
Are They Ready for New Experiences?
Kindergarten marks the beginning of an essential path for children to grow. Children learn new social rules and autonomy that will serve as the foundation for their future, so it is vital to spend this new beginning peacefully.
The “big” child will revert to being a “little” child and face a different reality than they knew in preschool. Some things they will have to learn include:
-Learning to trust new adults.
-Sharing rooms, games and time with more children in the same department.
-Leaving Mom and Dad in the new place.
-Getting used to spending part of the day without them.
It all demands a great deal of effort emotionally, physically and psychologically. Suddenly, it seems as if the child has become an adult. We move from connected relationships and familiar spaces to new environments to explore and conquer multiple relationships that are no longer exclusive. While some children will experience the “jump” with curiosity and without great emotional difficulty, others will show some fatigue and take time to adjust to the new reality.
A crisis accompanies every transitional period in a child’s life, and overcoming it is a step toward growth. To train children’s minds for new horizons, it is imperative to prepare in advance for the changes.
Here Are Some Tips to Help You Do That:
First, take them to see the structure from the outside and tour the rooms if possible (many kindergartens nowadays have photo displays on the Internet).
When physically accompanying them to a new school, have them bring something reassuring from home.
You will need to introduce them to the teacher, show them the cupboard where you keep your things, introduce them to the other children, and visit the receiving department.
Greeting them before they leave is very important. A greeting accompanied by a kiss can be beneficial to both parties without prolonging the goodbye.
Tell your child when you will be back (“no later than after lunch or after bedtime”) and be punctual.
At the moment of reunion, tell your child how much you missed them. A firm hug and a kiss can help both adults and children regain their inner courage.
Prepare a Backpack
It can be a reassuring ritual for the child to find a backpack together, decorate it for the opening ceremony, and finally get ready in the evening.
In the backpack, you can put things and games that will give them peace of mind when the time comes. By preparing a bag with the things they need for the week, they will get used to the habit of “getting ready for school” and anticipate what to expect the following day.
Accepting And Trusting Feelings
Parents can be a great source of emotional support for their children when faced with these new developmental challenges. While the child experiences successful adjustment to the new environment, he may show signs of regression in the home.
It is essential to connect with him and reassure him by deepening the thoughts and experiences that “underlie” his behaviour, helping him to verbalize what he feels and express his emotions. Once the child begins to succeed, parents need to let him know how proud they are of him and have complete faith in his abilities.
This is also based on interaction and trust between teachers and parents. Dialogue between adults can be a great support in making the child feel secure and facilitating the beginning of this new adventure.