For any of you who have not yet experienced your child’s first day of kindergarten, it can be as hard on the parent as on the child. As much as some kids can’t wait to go to school and be a big kid, they may be apprehensive about the unknown. Give them confidence and reassurance that all of the other kids in their class feel the same way. This will help them feel that they are not alone.
Making the upcoming day special will help detour from the anxiety. Plan a special outfit and take pictures before school. Help pack their backpack the night before. Plan to drive or walk your child on their first day. Walk your child to their classroom, introduce them to the teacher and assure them that you will pick them up right after school. You may need to do this more than one day until they are comfortable getting to their class on their own.
Try not to overreact if your child clings to you and cries. This is not abnormal behavior for the first day of school. This is a coping mechanism for your child and the teacher may allow you to stay for a bit. You may need to do this for a few days. Lessen the amount of time spent each day until they are comfortable with just the drop off. Don’t sneak out when you leave. This can cause problems for the teacher who may have to settle your child down once they have discovered you are gone.
At the end of the first day, you may want to go to your child’s classroom and pick them up, but after that, let them come to you. Finding their way and getting around on their own will build self confidence and independence in your child. Soon it will be a distant memory and you will be amazed how much your little one progresses in their first year of school.