Doliza Reyes-Bibbs is the Program Director - Early Childhood Center for Ozark Guidance Center and an editorial contributor to NWAHomepage.com.
Transitioning to a school or new school setting is a significant event in a child's and many times parent's life. The child is growing and developing into new environments and new relationships.
One of the most important ways to support your child is to help them have a positive relationship with the teacher. This person will be your child's "go to" for learning as well as so many other social experiences. The relationship you have with the teacher as well as the teacher with you and your child should be one that reflects safety, consistency, ability to have a productive dialogue and basically one that promotes positive feelings. If your child feels connected in this way to the adult that is in their life outside of their home it will promote feelings of emotional and physical safety.
Fun ways to do this would be to allow your child to take pictures of their family and or home to share with their teacher/peers, talk with the teacher and discuss whether your child can take pictures of his/her new teacher and classroom/rooms (music, cafeteria, library) to show these new experiences off at home to the whole family, talk with your child about their day and what new places or people they saw today, provide a transition object for children who feel more anxious and worried about this new adventure in their life, make sure you connect before and after school with your child.
Changes, even the positive ones, can be stressful if they are new and your child may need a little extra emotional fuel and connection time with you so find something simple to do after school or before that provides this feeling for your child. Remember what may seem like a small step to an adult can be an enormous one for a child. Celebrate them every day!
If you need assistance, Ozark Guidance is here to help. You can contact Ozark Guidance at 479-750-2020 or visit ozarkguidance.org to learn more about children services.
Each year, Ozark Guidance serves 14,500 people including 4,800 children in Benton, Washington, Madison and Carroll Counties. The mission of Ozark Guidance is saving and changing lives by providing compassionate, quality mental health services. We have locations to serve you and your family in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Berryville and Huntsville.