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Helping Kids Through The Emotional Change Of Starting Big School

With my son starting kindy next week (eek) I’ve found myself pondering all the changes that he’s about to go through.

No more eating and grazing whenever he feels hungry. No more free play and run of the nature enriched playground. No more digging in mud and climbing trees barefoot. No more sleeping in until whenever he feels like waking up. 
Instead he will have a set time every morning to get out of bed with a new routine , along with a uniform to wear everyday and shoes and socks that he can’t take off until 3 p.m.A recess and lunch bell that dictates when he can eat  and a bare grassed and paved playground , with hundreds of other students to share it with.
Along with new teachers, new rules, new friends,  new buildings, fun learning, awards ceremonies, Easter Hat parades, school discos and fetes, just to name a few.

I’ve already seen him go through some emotional changes with not attending his preschool, where he formed bonds and special friendships with other children and teachers, over the past three years. Whilst he is very excited and ready for his new adventure in Kindergarten,  I am anticipating he will need a lot of emotional support, understanding and guidance to help him through the “big school” transition.
I found this article, by Kids Matter, (see it here  https://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/families/enewsletter/three-ways-help-children-cope-starting-school )  extremely interesting and beautifully written. It talks about three simple ways that will help children cope with starting school.

  • UNDERSTANDING common behaviours and what they mean
  • TALKING with your children about what they might be feeling, why they might be feeling it and telling them stories of instances where you can relate to what they are going through and how you handled it.
  • HELPING them process the flood gate of emotions flowing through during this new phase of their childhood. Helping them to organise their feelings and recognise what emotion it actually is they are feeling and giving them coping strategies along the way. 

So good luck to all the Mums with their babies off to “kindy” next week, I am off to iron shirts and label lunch boxes!