Life as a student can be stressful and difficult for many children. The start of kindergarten, the change of school or simply the passage from one year to the next, are milestones that require the child to have great adaptability. While some are successful, others have a much harder time adjusting. Every September, a little adjustment time is needed, but as a parent, what should you do when this problem persists beyond the first few weeks of school?
Expected adaptation time
At first, your child seemed very happy to start school. They might have even been excited for the first few days. But, since then, it seems that reality has caught up with them: their situation as a student is permanent and they start fighting against that. You may get the impression that they are more agressive or withdrawn from situations. Don't stress about this too quickly. These phases are an integral part of the adaptation process which usually lasts 4 to 5 weeks.
Don't let your own emotions take over
To help your child cope better and overcome this adjustment period, it is essential that you adopt a positive attitude. It is the way you approach the situation that will have a positive impact on its outcome. If you let your own worries shine through or share your own negative school experiences with your child, they may be copying YOUR behavior!
In the morning, remind them what the school day has in store for them
To reduce their anxiety, every morning, repeat to your child the exact outcome of their schedule and reassure them: at the end of the day, you will be there to welcome them and you will all return home. By knowing what to expect, your little one will feel supported and will be less likely to negatively anticipate the day ahead.
Find positive points, and focus on them
Take time to review the day and find some bright spots. For example, during the evening meal, go around the table and review the significant events of the day. Don't be afraid to ask them questions and emphasize the positives: Did they make new friends? What's the coolest thing they learned? Did they do anything that merits a high-five or a pat on the back? Let them brag about their successes, no matter how little or big they are!
Be a team with the school: Ask for their support
If, after the first few weeks and despite all your efforts, your child cannot find their place in their group and adjust to school, it might be time to contact their teacher and ask for a meeting with the educators in his everyday environment. This will help ensure your child gets adequatee support, from every angle.