Is your child about to begin school? Are they beginning their school transition sessions? This can be an exciting and nerve wracking experience for all involved. As a parent you are possibly asking yourself ‘how can I help my child have a successful transition?’ Here are our top 5 tips to help you support your child.
5 ways to support your child’s transition
- Ensure your child is able to attend all transition sessions (or as many as you can). These sessions allow your child to become comfortable in the school setting and to meet some of the children who will be their classmates next year while allowing the school to get to know your child a little bit too. They also allow you to meet some fellow parents going forward.
- Share the excitement with your child. This is an exciting new phase for your child. They are about to engage in a new phase of life. Your child will meet new people, some may become life long friends. They will learn new things and find new passions as the years go on. Be excited with your child, even though you know there will be challenges ahead, let them have this moment.
- Encourage independence. As your child moves into school they will need to learn to manage more tasks for themselves. No one will carry your child’s bag for you. They will need to ask when they need the toilet, no one will be checking if they need it. Their teacher will support and understand that they are still young but in a class of children they cannot do everything for each child. If you haven’t already, start getting them to carry their own bag into kinder. Little steps like carrying their bag help them to learn that they are getting bigger and they need to start to take some responsibility for their own things.
- Watch the pressure you place on them. While it is important to encourage independence, try to avoid any sentence starting with “Big school kids…” that then goes on to a behaviour that they need to be doing better at. This is not a way of motivating them to improve behaviour. Their attendance at school is not going to depend on any of these behaviours but constant comments like this can place a lot of extra stress on a child.
- Watch for signs of stress or anxiety. This is a big change and a totally new experience for your child. No doubt they will be nervous about some aspects. Even they most outgoing, confident child will have some level of anxiety or worry about starting school. Encourage them to talk about what they are looking forward to about school. Let them ask any questions they have about school. It is new and different to them, a complete unknown. They will have many emotions and some that they will not be able to express with words. Difficult behaviours can be a child’s way of expressing that they are feeling uncertain about something.
Enjoy this new phase you are about to engage in with your child. This is a milestone for them and for you, a new chapter in all of your lives.