Preparing your child for school

Familiarizing your child with his or her school can create a level of comfort once the big day arrives.

The first day at school isn’t what it used to be. These days, by the time most children start formal education they’re relatively comfortable with separation from the home and parent, says Jayne Singer, Ph.D., the clinical director of the Child and Parent Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Children who have had high-quality day care or preschool make a better transition to school both emotionally and socially,” she says.

Still, even leaving a private play-based preschool to go to a public school is a big transition, and there’s a lot parents can do to ease a child’s stress with any environmental change. When it comes to easing anxiety, familiarity breeds comfort.

“Give the child guidance; show them pictures of their new classroom or school. A lot of schools have the good sense to hold open houses or have a welcome visit. Visit the school, visit the playground. Show them the classroom and where they will play. The sense of familiarity will ease anxiety.”

“Also,” adds Dr Singer, “younger children do well with concrete reminders about the passage of time. Get a calendar and mark off the days until school starts. Turn it into a craft project. Say, make a flower and add a petal for each day.”

One thing parents should watch for is transferring their anxiety. “Parents shouldn’t assume a child is anxious or feels separation. Don’t ask, ‘Are you scared?’ Let the child bring it up and if they do, say, ‘Of course you are. I feel nervous when I do something new.’”

Parents should also get ready in advance

“Have a conversation with personnel at the school so you are prepared for the environment,” says Dr. Singer. “The more parents know about the school, the more authentic they are in offering guidance to the child. Tell your child they will have a chance to play, they will have a place to draw and paint. Give them concrete examples of what is there. Give them a vision of the classroom as a kind and supportive place.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…