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Even before the first day of kindergarten, parents can get their child used to short separations. Arrange with other mothers to visit each other’s children to play, and get them used to spend some time in the care of another mother who may not know them as well.
Attending a playgroup would also be a very big advantage, as it would mean that your child is already familiar with a situation similar to kindergarten. Encourage your child’s independence and let him/her do small tasks on his/her own, e.g. in the household. In this way, you will help your child to develop self-confidence, which will contribute significantly to making him or her less fearful of new things.
Strengthen the anticipation of kindergarten by emphasizing the positive aspects of this new phase of life; after all, little ones want to grow up, learn and have new experiences. If your child knows what is expected of him and feels confident in his abilities, he will be more likely to cope. Have confidence and patience and motivate your child positively.
Be sure to attend the information evenings offered and take advantage of the kindergartens’ offers for trial visits; this will already have taken away the first threshold fear before things get serious.
The better your child gets to know his or her future environment, the better he or she will be able to adjust to it.
Explain the daily routine to your child when he or she goes to kindergarten and give him or her the assurance that he or she will “not miss anything” at home. This is especially important if a sibling was born just a short time before the older one starts kindergarten and may now feel “pushed away” and react with jealousy. You can explain how proud you are of your kindergarten child, who can already do so much and will now learn even more new things.
The New Kindergarten
Pick out the new equipment together with your child: the snack bag, the new finches, your child should be proud of these and look forward to being able to use them for the first time. Practice together with the way to the kindergarten; it is essential that the little ones learn to know and pay attention to possible dangers in the traffic. Are there neighbor children who start kindergarten at the same time or older ones who are already in their second year? Then you can arrange for all the children to set off together.
Celebrate The Big Day
When the big day arrives, make a small celebration out of it. Maybe you can “sweeten” the first day of kindergarten with a little surprise.
Do not make big plans for the time after kindergarten, your child will be tired and needs rest and time to process the new impressions. Stay in conversation with the kindergarten teachers and get information about your child’s behavior.
Encourage Your Child
If your child is unhappy at the beginning, keep encouraging him/her that he/she will surely overcome these difficulties and that he/she must attend kindergarten, just as school is compulsory later on. But also be patient with your daughter, son, give him or her time, and don’t put pressure on your child by comparing him or her to other children who seem to settle in more quickly.
Your child will change through kindergarten, he or she will become more independent and self-reliant, and with that, your relationship with your child will change. You will help your child if you are willing to accept these changes, let go of them, and allow them to move into a new living environment without anxious worry. Do not express concerns or criticize the kindergarten teacher within earshot of your child; what you do not like should not be transferred to your child, who will have his or her own and perhaps very different experiences.
It is important to accept that your child is now one of many in a group, must follow new rules, and learn consideration for others. This experience is an important step in a child’s social learning; support your child in fitting into a new social system. Entering kindergarten is the first step into an unfamiliar environment; the second follows shortly after when the child starts school.