Con­fi­dence cru­cial

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

A pos­i­tive parental at­ti­tude is cru­cial to smooth­ing the way for five year olds about to em­bark on their first ad­ven­ture into the world of for­mal school­ing.

Young­sters head­ing off to pri­mary school for the first time are more likely to adapt if their par­ents ex­ude con­fi­dence and an up­beat ap­proach to the move, said preschool ed­u­ca­tor Vikki Cooper.

‘‘Hide any ner­vous­ness you might have as a par­ent – make sure your ap­proach to the move is a pos­i­tive one.’’

Strate­gies that help smooth en­try into year one in­clude work­ing on small things that can help make chil­dren in­de­pen­dent and more able to self man­age – per­haps things like mak­ing their bed, find­ing their shoes and pack­ing their lunch­box.’’

She sug­gested let­ting the chil­dren hang up their own bags when go­ing to school, and said sup­port­ive ac­tiv­i­ties at home should re­flect the re­quire­ments of the schools they will move in to.

‘‘For ex­am­ple,’’ said Vikki, ‘‘teach them the cor­rect pen­cil grip, and if you are show­ing chil­dren how to write their names, make sure you don’t teach them in cap­i­tals. That just means they will have to re-learn it in lower case when they get to school. ’’

In­spir­ing con­fi­dence and a pos­i­tive view of school in young­sters was al­limpor­tant. Chil­dren who recog­nised their names, and able to put on their own shoes or clothes, go to the cor­rect toi­let and get out their lunch were more likely to as­sim­i­late hap­pily. All of th­ese could be prac­tised ahead of the move to school.

The one-teacher en­vi­ron­ment of year one means chil­dren need to feel se­cure about putting their hand up to at­tract at­ten­tion, she said, and young­sters bet­ter able to make so­cial con­nec­tions have an ad­van­tage.

‘‘Par­ents should try to get to know the names of the chil­dren their young­sters share a ta­ble with. It is also an idea to drop a lit­tle note into their lunch­box – even if you just draw a love heart or another pic­ture on it. Such lit­tle tips help re­in­force a par­ent’s con­nect­ed­ness with the child, even though they are not with them.’’

Vikki said par­ents needed to adopt a happy rou­tine when drop­ping their young­sters at school. Par­ents who stayed too long could be mak­ing it worse for their chil­dren.

Photo: FAIR­FAX NZ

IDS: Build­ing a child in­de­pen­dence be­fore they head to school or preschool is a vi­tal step.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.