Anxiety and stress are no joke for any child, and it’s important not to dismiss your kid’s feelings regardless of their age, or how trivial a concern might be. Not handling anxiety well during their formative years may lead to stunted emotional maturity and growth later on. On top of that, your child may not want to trust you with their feelings if you don’t help them out!
For Early Years students, one will find a variety of stressors that may contribute to anxiety. Given the timeliness of the school year soon starting, one thing to note is that a major stressor is the first day of class!
In today’s blog entry, we provide tips for helping your Early Years Program child deal with some of the common anxiety problems that they’ll be facing
1. Establish a routine
Separation anxiety is an almost universal experience for young children being dropped off at school for the first time. You can help your child by establishing a routine and discussing expectations with them. Everything will be so new to them, so you can help make it easier by talking about specific steps once you drop them off. Something simple, such as, “When we get to school, we’ll find your nametag and put your school bag in the right place and then we will use the bathroom. We can read a story or do a puzzle together. After that, I will leave and you will stay at school with your friends and teachers. I will come back to pick you up after Story Time.” They’ll feel more assured of themselves knowing what they’ll be doing
2. Say goodbye properly
When actually dropping them off, it may be difficult for them to separate in the first place. Your child may be crying or fussing over things. It’s important to say a solid goodbye so that it doesn’t seem like you disappeared. And on top of this, don’t apologize for leaving them! They may feel like you don’t want them to be there, or you’re not comfortable about the place where you’re leaving them. Rather than saying, “I’m sorry. Mommy has to leave now,” try “It’s time for me to leave now. Have a fun day! I will see you after story time!”.
3. Give them a family photo or a keepsake
Of course, your child will likely not take well to being left alone in an unfamiliar place. You can prepare them for this by giving them something that anchors them to their family. Have them keep a family photo or other keepsake that they can turn to whenever they feel the need
4. After saying goodbye, leave!
Once you say goodbye, you need to LEAVE! Do not drag out the goodbye .If you are not going to leave right away, do not say goodbye. But, once you say goodbye, leave promptly, with a smile on your lips! It’s best not draw it out so that they can get the closure they need and start facing the challenge head-on.
5. Be on time when picking them up
When you pick them up, make sure you’re not late, and arrive at the agreed-upon time, so they don’t experience anxiety worrying about where you are. Keep in mind that your child tells time by the activities of the day, not by a clock. If you are not there when other children are being picked up, your child worries. If you are running late, please call us so we can let your child know.
6. Ask for help from us!
At Swiss International School in Dubai, we pride ourselves in how we treat our students like family, providing them with a pastoral care environment which nurtures them as well as educates them.
Our faculty and staff will always be willing to lend a helping hand in acclimatizing your child to the new environment, and making them feel at home. Just ask if you’re having a rough time! Handing your child to us, rather than us “taking” your child FROM you, tells the child that you trust us and it is okay to come to us while still missing you.
We know this can be difficult for you as well as your child. That’s why we have a 10 minute rule: If your child is still upset after 10 minutes, we will call you and try again or set up a new plan to help your child ease into school. Rest assured that we’ll do everything in our power to give your child a wonderful time in our school.