Thursday, August 23, 2012

Help Your Kids Settle In School

School can be difficult for many kids. It’s not just about going into an unfamiliar setting (for first-timers) it’s also about finding who they are against the backdrop of stronger and more pushy personalities. School is not just about the challenges of learning new things and mastering new skills, it’s about getting used to a different routine and abiding by a different set of laws. School can be challenging for kids because they view it as a separation from the people who love them and support them unconditionally.

This is why it behoves the parent to prepare children for school. First time school goers need more preparation, naturally. However, even kids who’ve been to school before need some assurance after being away for so long. Here are some ways we can make sure our new school goers are getting the best from school and developing as they should be.

Allow them to express their fears and concerns

You won’t know what your kids are thinking about school unless you ask them. Children bear all sorts of unfounded fears and anxieties – ones you will never imagine even if you try to. This is why it’s important to ask them about what they’re thinking. If they’re worried or concerned about something and can’t express it, have them draw their feelings on a piece of paper. Use this paper as a spring board for a discussion. Allay their fears and talk about all aspects of what they’re imagining. Ask them what will happen if… Explain what can and can’t happen in a school scenario. Encourage them to ask you questions about your school days and tell them happy stories about your childhood and the days you spent in school.

Act out a school day

If you think your kids are anxious when they arrive home from school, a good way to find out why this is so is to act out the school day. If they’re anxious before even setting foot in school, act out an ‘imaginary’ day at school. Get the members of your family together. Have your child be the teacher. You be him or her and sit at a ‘desk’. Have someone else be a friend, and ask another person to be the big boy/girl in the class. This way you have a teacher, your kid, a child your son/daughter may see as a threat, and a classroom.

Your child (the teacher) has the power to guide the workings of the make-belief class. This will show you all you need to know and will definitely reveal to you, why your child is anxious. He/she has to tell everyone how to behave. Any shouting or telling off that occurs should give you an indication of what may be happening in his/her life at school. This will give you an opportunity to address and nip it in the bud.

Give your kids the best start to each day

Your kids need complete rest each night before a school day. This makes them restful, less anxious, less tired and less inclined to misbehave and get into trouble. A child that gets into trouble loses confidence in himself/herself.

Hug your child and tell him/her you love them in the morning when they leave for school. This boosts their confidence for the entire day and gives them some ammunition to face the day’s joys and hardships.
Give your child a healthy breakfast. Sugary foods and acidic drinks only make them agitated and less able to concentrate.

What other ways do you help your kids settle in school?

Anne Lyken-Garner, the writer of this post is the author of the inspiring book, ‘How to Raise Kids To Be Responsible Adults’ and writes about building confidence at her blog, ‘How To Build Confidence’. 


  1. Thanks for publishing this, Rose. The photo looks great!

  2. Great Post! I don't know but yours look ready to roll! lol my son does not go to school at all. He does but he dont, everything he does is all online classes.

  3. School can be a scary place and these are very good suggestions on how to either get your child to cope with unfounded fears--or to unearth those fears which may be very real (bullying)!

  4. These are great tips, School is not always a fun place kids have to go and explore and figure things out thanks for helping us help them to feel better about going

  5. This is awesome! I hope all parents take the time to check in to see how their kids are doing especially in school which can be really hard for some. I love these tips. I'm gonna share this on Twitter so all parents can see.

  6. Glad you are an active parent in their education. It is a must for success

  7. These are great suggestions. New experiences can be scary, especially for children. I am glad you shared some ideas to help parents ease their children's anxiety.

  8. Some good tips for starting out the year.


  9. Love that "Act it Out" tip. Thank you sharing these sis. I'm also getting anxious for myself on how I'm going to start a homeschool this year because George is in the right age to enter Kindergarten. Lovely photo of your kids here.

  10. Those are great tips! I really think starting the day off right is key to success for everyone.

  11. good tips. i wish to homeschool my kid too but that depends on the father. your kids looks so happy to be in school. must be a wonderful school they have

  12. This post is very helpful- I was thankful that my kindergartner adjusted so well in a very short period of time.

  13. School is a bit intimidating to most children especially on the first week ... there's the anxiety but, once they appreciate the teacher, their peers plus ... the room is conducive to learning, they tend to love going to school.

  14. I was terrified when I sent my son to Prek but he turned out to do okay. Now that we have moved and he will be going to Kindergarden with all new kids in the fall I am anxious all over again!

  15. Guiding children to school and to their daily undertaking means love.


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