Start school with a smile


Across different schools, teachers see two types of first–year students: one quickly adjusts to school and begins to enjoy it, the other cries each day at the door. By applying some easy–to–follow guidelines, parents can help their youngsters belong to a very lucky group of students who start school with fun instead of fear.

Arrange a tour of your child’s school before the year starts.
It’s not unusual for young children to imagine the worst when they don’t have enough information. Big fears about where they are going to sit, where they will eat, whether their teacher will be “nice,” and what they will do if they need to use the restroom become much smaller when parents take this step.

Teach confidence by showing it.
When parents spend too much time trying to calm their children’s fears, their children begin to think, “Wow. If my parents are this concerned about me, and they have to talk this much about going to school, maybe there really is something to be worried about!”

More effective parents give lots of hugs, listen, and say, “I love you.” Doing this, they send a very strong message of confidence. Simply put, confident parents tend to have confident kids… worried parents tend to have worried kids.

If you drive your child to school, leave quickly.
Smart parents give quick hugs, let their kids know they’re in a hurry, and leave without looking back. Why? Because the underlying message they send to their children is, “You can handle this. You’re strong!” It’s amazing how children either live up to – or down to – our expectations.

Avoid backing down from tantrums and tears.
Don’t teach your child to be fearful by backing down to crying and allowing him or her to stay home! Regardless of how heart wrenching their cries become, good parents send their kids to school. Why? Because all experienced teachers say the same thing: “It’s amazing how fast kids calm down after their parents are out–of–sight!”


This article was written by Dr Charles Fay

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