Posted by Peggy Kaufman, Director of the Center for Early Relationship Support
Transitioning to school in the fall, especially for young children, is an experience which is likely to be both exciting and stressful for the whole family. You might worry, “Is he ready? How will we all adjust? Will she make friends?"
Here are some suggestions for dealing with these transitions:
- Your children are influenced by the things you say and do, and the feelings you express. If you convey a positive attitude, regardless of emotions you may be experiencing, then they will feel more confident.
- Keep the lines of communication open. By talking with and listening to your children, you can lay to rest many of the fears and misconceptions they might have about this transition. Address your children’s questions and reassure them if they have concerns.
- Begin to put bedtime, morning, and mealtime routines back in place before the start of school, if they have become more lax in the summer. As hard as it may be to wake a sleeping preschooler, it will pay off once school starts.
- There are many good books to read together about starting school. Visit the library and check some out!
- Recognize that behaviors such as clinginess, acting out, or nervous habits are likely just how your children are expressing their feelings of anxiety, excitement, or sadness.
- Seek out your own supportive relationships, which can make a world of difference during times like these.
- Create ritual(s) for marking this transition, such as taking photos in the same spot each year or making a special breakfast on the first day of school.
Peggy Kaufman has been the Director of the Center for Early Relationship Support
for over 20 years. In her role she has provided support to countless new mothers and their babies.