How to set­tle chil­dren into kinder­garten

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RUAHINE KINDER­GARTEN ASSN

If your lit­tle one is about to start kinder­garten, then you both may be a lit­tle anx­ious. There are a few things that can be done to lessen the stress and help your child to set­tle quickly.

Ruahine Kinder­gartens wel­come you to spend time vis­it­ing kinder­garten prior to your child’s ac­tual start date. Get to know the teach­ers, as the more com­fort­able you as a par­ent feel, the more com­fort­able your child will feel too.

Dis­cuss with your child some of the new and ex­cit­ing things they will play with and the new friends they may make. Also tell them about some of the rou­tines they can ex­pect, such as toi­let­ing, eat­ing, and mat times.

Dur­ing their first week, take plenty of time set­tle your child. Sign them in, help them put their be­long­ings away, show them where the toi­lets and eat­ing places are, and set them up at an ac­tiv­ity be­fore say­ing good­bye.

Be sure to tell them when you will be back, in a way that they can un­der­stand – such as ‘af­ter mat time’ or ‘af­ter lunch’. Let a teacher know when you’re leav­ing – this way they can work with you and your chil­dren on say­ing good­bye and your child can es­tab­lish an at­tach­ment with them.

If your child is par­tic­u­larly ner­vous about you leav­ing, leave for a short pe­riod of time (e.g. an hour), and then slowly ex­tend this time out.

Re­turn at the promised time and ask the teach­ers about your child’s day, what held their in­ter- est, and what ac­tiv­i­ties they may have done. Talk about their day with them at home. Keep it pos­i­tive, rather than feed­ing on their I missed you mes­sages, ask them what they did, who they met, and what they en­joyed.

Con­tin­ued com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween home and kinder­garten is im­por­tant too. The more in­for­ma­tion you can give us about your child, their fam­ily and in­ter­ests, the bet­ter we can work with your child to ex­plore th­ese in­ter- ests, and help them set­tle.

All our kinder­gartens use Ed­uca, an on­line port­fo­lio sys­tem where teach­ers reg­u­larly up­date your child’s learn­ing sto­ries and any ob­ser­va­tions.

Ed­uca also pro­vides a great way for fam­i­lies to pro­vide feed­back, so you’re al­ways con­nected.

Reg­u­lar at­ten­dance is an­other way to en­sure your child set­tles into the learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment and de­vel­ops friend­ships.

PHOTO: RUAHINE KINDER­GARTEN ASSN/SUP­PLIED

Sep­a­ra­tion of pre-school­ers from par­ents can be stress­ful and up­set­ting, but kinder­garten teach­ers work to­wards mak­ing the tran­si­tion as easy as pos­si­ble for both par­ent and child.

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