Can you believe that September is right around the corner? Literally, its like 2 days away! This time of year, I get a lot of parents emailing, calling, asking about what to do about their child starting school for the first time.
Talking to your child is going to be key. Talk to them about the changes that are about to happen. Make sure they know that its important for them to tell their teacher if they are feeling a bit overwhelmed or, feeling tired at some point throughout the day. Children who are still napping or having quiet time in the afternoon may have a bit of a tougher time adjusting to their new daily schedule. Communication is important. Teaching our children to be comfortable talking about how they feel is really important.
Also, talk to you child’s teacher. Ask questions! Ask them if there is a designated quiet area or if there is a designated quiet time that they implement at some point during the day. Ask them how they handle if it a child comes to them letting them know what they are tired. Make sure they communicate any concerns they may have with regards to your child being overly tired throughout the day.
Starting full day kindergarten is going to be an adjustment for everyone. Some children have an easier time transitioning than others. Its important to try and keep their nap/quiet time/bedtime routine in place up until the first day of school. We want to send them off as well rested as possible. I don’t suggest making any big changes to their routine until after school starts. I also recommend that if your child still naps, they continue to do so on weekends. They’re going to be exhausted but thats OK! This is a super exciting time. Try for the first few weeks not to cram a bunch of outings or activities in when you are home. Allow for a steady transition.
That being said, don’t be afraid to implement an earlier bedtime while your child adjusts to all these new changes. I know that with our busy schedules, by the time we get home, have dinner, have a bath etc, its already 8PM! Don’t make things rushed but if possible, try to get them to bed a bit earlier just until things iron out and they are better rested.
Try to turn off all electronics (TV, iPad, phones etc) at least 1.5 hours before bed. Engage in quiet activities. Read, colour, anything that doesn’t require a screen. This will help them not be any more stimulated than they already are with the days activities.
The beginning of school is going to be exciting, scary and wonderful all at the same time. Some children have an easier go adjusting than others. Be patient and make sure the lines of communication are always open. If your child is struggling because they’re tired, make sure they tell you. The first few days may be long but always keep in mind, they’re going to be OK.