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Starting Kinder or School?  Tips for Getting Past The Anxiety

Starting Kinder or School? Tips for Getting Past The Anxiety

Starting School or Kinder is such a big step. Even if your little one has been at childcare, it's still a major milestone. There is anxiety for everyone involved. You just want your little ones to have a great experience, to be liked and to be looked after. For me, I was most anxious about my little one having a positive social experience, because the road to loving school is through great friends and a secure environment.

Building a secure start to school and reducing anxiety is a mixture of lots of things - a child's temperament, the schools approach to integration, our approach to the school experience as well as the class that they are in.  There is a lot out of our control, so all that we can do is make the transition as smooth as possible, and give a tonne of support to our little ones.

Below are the ways we worked through new school anxiety in our home.

  1. Talk about what they should expect – even if they don’t totally get it, something will sink in and will help them manoeuvre situations when you are not around.

  2. Build excitement about learning, new friends, teachers

  3. Involve them in the lunch box prep – what do they want to take with them? What lunch box do they want?

  4. Have faith in the teachers – they are there for your kids. If you have any concerns, talk to them

  5. Go to all of the induction sessions

  6. Don’t run late – you don’t need the extra stress and neither does your little one. Get a morning routine going that gets you to school with time to spare in the morning.

  7. Help the kids talk through their emotions.  At the school my little one goes to they spent a lot of time at the beginning of the school year on emotions. They taught us and the kids about the Zones of Regulation and how to talk through emotions.  Gratitude and Growth Mindset language were also important. These are all things you can look at and work through at home too, ie keeping a gratitude journal or even talking gratitude at the end of each day. The Zones of Regulation is available online so check it out.  It's simple and will be a great foundation for discussing feelings. Honor and respect your childs feelings, even if they don’t match yours.  They need to have a safe place to vent and you need to be it.

  8. Set up play dates outside school to get them used to new friends.

  9. Get involved – I didn’t have the capacity to get involved in all the PA activities but I did go in to read with my child's class. I got to know the kids and it also helped with her transition.  

  10. Do as I do – when you get to school on the first day, make an effort to introduce yourself to other parents and kids, let your little one see you making new friends and not being “afraid”

  11. Breathing and meditation – my little ones childcare used to do yoga and meditation with them so when my eldest started school she didn’t think twice when I asked her to do Smiling Mind breathing with me. It’s two minutes of bliss.

  12. Make the start of the day fun, play music you love, etc to get them in the mood.

  13. Give them something to take with them to help them through, a little charm or a pixie makes mummy that little bit closer.

  14. Pack a little surprise note in their lunch box. Even if they don’t read yet, their teacher will read it for them

  15. Make time at the end of the day to talk through the day, either for an ice cream after school or a snuggle and chat after the bath.

  16. Try not to overload after school and weekend activities especially at the beginning – they will be super tired from their new routine.

  17. If your little one is acting up in the mornings it may be anxiety rearing its head. Give them a bit of leeway at first while they are settling in. And expect a tired and ratty child at the end of the day too. It is hard work for them – long days, lots of brain use, new friend to run around with.

 So much change, such little humans.  But together you are strong!


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