The first day of school is a milestone in your child’s life. Your understanding at this turning point is vital to your child’s future attitude, healthy growth and development. Parents play an important role in starting children off with the self-confidence needed throughout life. Self-confidence is built upon good feelings about parents, about authority figures at school, about other children, and about oneself as a worthwhile human being. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Prepare your child for the new school experience by explaining what to expect and answering all questions. Children need to know when they will be in school, as well as how to get there and back. Working parents should make certain that the child knows all the arrangements for before and after school care.
- Make transportation plans very clear. Most kindergartners ride the school bus; help yours to identify his or her bus.
- Take an active interest in what your child tells you about school. Be a good listener; allow time to talk about school and the people there. Plan your day so that you can spend time together talking, reading, looking at pictures, taking walks or small trips.
- Give your child free play time. Now that he or she spends more time in a structured school setting, you should allow more free time at home.
- Get to know your child’s teacher. Get involved with the SCA.
- Treat going to school as part of the normal course of events, something that is expected of your child and accepted by you.
- Your child’s safety is continually stressed. Please help with your own instructions to obey police officers, bus drivers, traffic signals. Emphasize the importance of crossing streets at corners, refusing rides from strangers, and going straight home after school.