Supporting your kindergarten-aged children’s social and emotional needs can help them have a smoother start to school, says Faculty of Education lecturer Kimberly Hillier in an article recently published in The Conversation.
“Under typical circumstances, the transition to kindergarten evokes a multitude of emotions for parents and caregivers,” Dr. Hillier writes. “Amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns, transitioning into a new school year may prompt a unique set of emotions and anxieties for both parents and children.”
Hillier’s article offers evidence-based examples of how to help children ease the transition to kindergarten. Positive family interactions including a secure attachment to a primary caregiver, the nurturing of social skills, and helping children learn to identify their feelings are “critical skills” that can be nurtured at home, Hillier says. Acknowledging your own emotions about your child’s transition to kindergarten can also help alleviate anxiety.
Other tips include establishing school-year routines such as establishing a regular bedtime and posting a daily schedule can boost children’s sense of security and stability. Having positive relationships with your child’s teacher and other educators can also help.