Parenting: Getting ready for kindergarten

August 15, 2011

That mean children heading to kindergarten for the first time may already be getting quite anxious.

It's a day often filled with excitement, anticipation and plenty of anxiety.

"Tell children it's natural to be a little bit worried because you're doing something new and everybody's a little nervous when they're doing something new," said Doctor Leslie Rescorla, of the Bryn Mawr child Study Institute.

Anxiety is developmentally normal for children around five years old. As they enter kindergarten, even the most confident child is bound to feel a certain amount of separation anxiety, fears about school, and about making friends.

Dr. Rescorla suggests parents help explain what the schedule will be to take away that fear of the unknown.

"This is when the bus is going to come, this is where we're going to wait for the bus, this is what's going to happen when you get off the bus, this is what your schedule is, this is what will happen for lunch," said Dr. Rescorla.

If possible, have your child meet the teacher, see the classroom and tour the school. If your child is anxious about taking a school bus, consider enlisting the help of a young neighbor.

Dr. Rescorla suggests reading your child age-appropriate books about going to school and reassure your child that kindergarten will be a new, fun adventure.

"And that mommy and daddy are going to be here and thinking about you and you're going to be fine and we want to hear all about your adventures when you come home," suggested Dr. Rescorla.

This subject is close to my heart since my son, Luke, is starting kindergarten in a few weeks. So, I've asked my Facebook fans to post fond memories of their children's first day at kindergarten.

You can post your memories on my Facebook page as well!

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