Kindergarten preparation helps parents, children

LSU AgCenter News
August 11, 2011 at 10:18 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

As the first day of kindergarten approaches, many parents find themselves anxious about how their children will adjust. Parents of young children may be anxious about leaving their children in a new environment for the first time.

The more parents can anticipate and prepare their children for these changes, the smoother the transitions are likely to be, according to LSU AgCenter family and child development expert Linda Robinson.

"Keep calm," Robinson advises, adding it is normal for parents and children to become anxious as the school year approaches.

Prepare your child for the new environment by talking about what it is like and what your child will be doing during the day, she says. Keep these talks casual, however, so your child does not become overly anxious or overwhelmed.

Robinson offers these suggestions for preparing for kindergarten:

Go for a visit. Arrange for a time to visit the school with your child so he or she will be more familiar with the new school before the first day.

Meet other preschoolers. If possible, try to arrange a time before the first day for your child to meet and play with a couple of the children who will be in his or her class.

Get into a routine. Try to establish a routine similar to the one your child will have once school starts, including times for waking, napping and going to bed at night.

Use books to prepare. Read some children’s books with your child about the first day of school.

Robinson recommends the following books and suggests checking with a librarian for others: "The Kissing Hand" by Audrye Penn, "Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten" by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff, "Welcome to Kindergarten" by Ann Rockwell, "First Day Jitters" by Julie Danneberg, and "Wemberly Worried" by Kevin Henkes,

"Practice saying goodbye," Robinson says. "Saying goodbye to one another on the first day of school can be especially difficult for children and parents."

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