Mumatherapy Workbook & Guide

Preparing Your Child for Starting School

anxiety back to school childcare milestones separation anxiety starting school Aug 18, 2023
Kid's going back to school

New lunch bag, school uniform and shiny shoes can only mean one thing: it’s back-to-school time!

But what if your child is starting school or childcare for the first time?

Starting childcare or school is a major milestone in any child’s life. And it’s normal for children to feel apprehensive.

You can help your child prepare for this transition by encouraging them to do things for themselves.

Foster Independence 

Children learn from experience, the more you allow them to learn for themselves, the quicker they will learn how to be independent.

Having age-appropriate responsibilities over their own self- care makes them feel more in control.

You can do this by-

Getting them their own alarm clock to wake them up

Encouraging them to get dressed, brush their teeth and hair themselves

Allowing them to use the toilet independently and wash their own hands

Getting them to practice using cutlery

Expecting them to carry their own lunch box /school bag

Patiently waiting while they put on their coat and shoes themselves

Asking them to tidy up their toys

These are all ways in which they can build their self-reliance and confidence.

It’s also a good idea to practice time away from you.

Practice Separation 

Everything gets easier with practice. The more often they spend time without you, the more they get used to it and realise they are okay and that you always return.

Don’t feel guilty about this. You are actually helping them to cope without you.

This is important because there will be times when you can’t always be around.

Practice leaving them with friends or family members outside their home.

Encourage them to join activities or sports that involve teams, so they can form friendships and feel a sense of belonging.

Once in a while, get a babysitter so you can go out and practice missing them too and get some much needed ‘You Time’. Once they see they were okay and you came back, they’ll feel more reassured the next time.

This doesn’t mean that they won’t get separation anxiety or kick off next time, though!

More on how to manage this in the next blog.

Being proactive and preparing them now will help them adjust when the big day arrives.

Stay proactive.

Em x


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