Starting preschool is the child’s first interaction with the outer world, a space where parents aren’t available and you are amongst some new yet trusted people. It had been a couple of months that Arni started her pre-nursery at the age of 2.8 years and had a happy start. However, post the vacations, we noticed a steep change in her behavior and she detested completely to go back to her school. We counseled her and tried to know the reason, I even sat back in her classes and checked the video recordings and requested to change her class, but there wasn’t any conclusion.
Well, I got pretty frustrated listening at least 100 times a day, “School nai jaana”, and pondered if we had made any mistake. You know what was the toughest moment; she vomited one day in the class and I stood right there outside, hiding myself because if I would have come in front of her; she would have never stayed back in the class and taken it as an excuse. Bad or worst decision, but I had to stay firm, not in terms of being a strict mom, but for her to understand that Mumma has left her in the hands that equally care for her.
And one such day as we dropped her to the school, she ran towards her teacher and smiled back to us..
Thankfully, now she goes to her school happily, but this miracle didn’t happen overnight.
How we as parents behave in the initial days is a real game-changer of how fast the kids will settle in their class
Before you read further ,If you are still in the dilemma when to start your child’s school, read here
First, foremost, and the last thing-
COMMUNICATE. Yes, you need to never stop doing that, read more below
- Never decide your kids’ school in haste. Calculate all the factors like fees, proximity, child teacher ratio, reputation, staff, and security and analyze at least 2-3 schools in the radar. Selection of school should be your decision, and not influenced by your friend’s choice.
- Check for physical change in the child, though the chances are unlikely, but still amidst so much of bad happening in the schools these days, you can’t brush aside any such probability. If possible, talk to her teacher and even the principal. Even they need to know that you ‘care‘.
- Trust your kid: Let her understand that you care for her and her feelings. There may or may not be any reason to avoid school, but you need to be with her so that she can at least discuss. A two year old demands equal trust that a teenager will expect from her parents.
- Don’t preach the kid about going to school, you need to inculcate his willingness for the school, so talk about the exclusive things the child receives there like circle time, lot of friends, playtime, colors, puzzles, rhymes, and new books, etc.
- Handle separation anxiety: So, this happened with my daughter a lot. She used to be completely fine till the moment I had to leave her hand at the school’s door. Result: an hour of constant crying, so I practically stopped taking her to the school and her reward for staying calm in the school: “Mumma will come to pick you up, everyday”!
- Don’t present house as an appealing space, for her outdoors like play areas and school should be full of inquisitiveness, fun, and meeting place of friends. And, any chance if the kid is at home, offer no TV or video game or endless sleep or dozing off. Somewhere, you need to instill the feeling that it’s actually good to spend a few hours at the school.
- Listen to your child everyday about his school. Please understand that if he is staying three hours away from you, you need to value his absence.
- Talk a lot about your own childhood experiences, what you did in the school, and how you engaged with the teachers, so that the child is able to understand that the parents had similar experiences.
- If your kid is a fussy eater, select the school that offers nutritional meals. Yes, that will actually help because it’s a good way to engage your child with others over the meals. Have a look at her meal plan before and if say it’s Aloo-poori in the menu, tell her how scrumptious the meal is going to be for her and the friends today.
You may need to do some similar activities at home too, so that the kid will know that they are actually relevant. Surprise her with singing some rhymes that her friends sing in the school; and trust me you will see the change in her.
Little things like ‘I love you’ , ‘I’m proud of you’ and ‘I’m there with you always’ can leave a lifelong impact on your children.
I always tell her how much I liked her teachers, I literally had to check her every school picture, conclude what happened when, and which teacher spends maximum time with her to bring her close to that one.
There was a time when she began holding her school bag throughout the class to counter her fears that left me baffled. But, I continued telling her that even her school bag has a space in her classroom so she should keep it at the right place. Yes that understanding took alot of time but things have changed now… Touchwood!
I would love for you to add your suggestions here. Take care…