Alas, my child is starting school!

As the title suggests, starting school is one of the most important milestones in life for both children and their parents.

Whether it is the preschool period or the primary school period, it is an important period when many complex emotions are experienced together, especially for mothers. The period of starting school means spending time away from home and mother, perhaps for the first time and for such a long time for the child. While experiencing a situation that makes a mother feel excitement, happiness, pride and curiosity, it is also possible to experience anxiety, fear, stress, restlessness and bewilderment. These feelings also apply to children starting school. Especially the mother’s separation anxiety from the child can also be transmitted to the child. The family, who is worried about many issues such as personal care, nutrition, friend relations and safety of the child at school, can feed the child to remain dependent. Especially before starting school, children who are “backed” at home by adults, who are not given responsibilities and who are not given the opportunity to even do their own personal care, are dependent and inadequate in meeting their needs when they start school, but sometimes they can even be ridiculed by their friends.

Children may have difficulties in the first week they start school. Some children exhibit behaviors such as not wanting to leave the house, not wanting to be separated from their mother, crying when entering the school, holding on in the first week, some children do not exhibit such behaviors.

Here, the approaches of the trainers can be as effective as the competence, self-confidence, independence, sociability of the child up to that age, and the environment of security and peace at home.

In other words, it is important that the process is managed correctly by both family and education experts.

If children’s undesirable behaviors last longer than two weeks, it is the most important indication that specialist help is needed. The fact that education life begins and continues with a traumatic process is such an important situation that no family wishes to live. The child’s eating and sleeping patterns, his desire to play, his attitude towards the activities he used to enjoy, and his general mood give us important information on this subject.

A significant part of the children, although they are competent, self-confident, socially developed and mature, may be reluctant and anxious towards school. At this point, an important criterion comes to mind the traumatic experiences in the family. Since death, bereavement, important illnesses, moving, divorce, and arguments can damage the child’s self-confidence and the world, the child may be worried that something bad may happen to a family member while he is at school, and therefore he may have problems while going to school. Sometimes, the child is so saturated with educational activities from a very young age that there is almost no activity at school that will appeal to him.

If we briefly present our suggestions to families here;

The child should be given responsibilities appropriate to his/her development level from an early age, so that the child can both taste the sense of achievement and experience the “useless” situation in the family by developing self-confidence.

Children should never be compared to siblings, neighbors, relatives, or classmates. Each child has special and unique equipment. Families should nurture this gem in their children.

Instead of stereotyping the child’s negative attitudes by constantly voicing them, it should be ensured that those attitudes are embedded in his character by emphasizing his achievements and positive attitudes.

Children’s ways of communicating their needs are different from us adults. Parents should try to see the real need behind the child’s behavior. Thus, the child, who realizes that his feelings and needs are understood, will be able to feel safe. In addition, he will have seen the model of the empathic approach in understanding the feelings and thoughts of other people.

Children who cry on the way to school should not be treated as humiliating, judgmental or scolding. The place of school in his life (for example, as a way to reach his dream job…), the opportunities there (play, learning, entertainment, friend opportunities…) should be explained in short and clear sentences.

School shopping and even the shopping list – at home – should be done together.

The child should be encouraged to prepare his/her bag the night before, but the adult should not undertake this task.

The send-off scene should not turn into a ceremony and should be kept too long. A short goodbye kiss and good wishes are enough. Turning and kissing the child, waving at him is a pathological attitude of the adult, not the child.

It should not be preferred because every word called “don’t worry”, “don’t be afraid”, “cry” contains the opposite in it and will cause the child to cry more, be afraid and worried.

If possible, before starting school, the child can be taken to play in the garden of the school, ride a bike, meet his friends there and have a mini picnic.

If possible, a short acquaintance with the teacher can be made before starting school.

The length of time the child will stay at school, who will pick him up from school, etc. Never tell lies about things. Unable to keep promises should not be made, material-emotional rewards should not be exaggerated.

It should be reminded that when he has a need at school that is beyond his power, he can ask for help from a friend or an adult he trusts (especially a teacher or a student who is a friend, relative, neighbor, etc.) studying at the same school.

A consistent schedule should be followed regarding the child’s bedtime and departure times and meal patterns.

While doing their homework, the child should not stand by the child and should not sit next to him until the homework is finished. He should be supported to do it himself, and the need to ask for help from adults when it is difficult should be taught from the first day.

He should not be expected to do his homework perfectly, the education work should be left to the teacher who is an expert. The child does not need the teacher at home, but the parent with whom he or she stays in a healthy relationship. Homework should not be taken from the child’s hand and done by the parent. When a similar request is made by the child, it should be stated that “it is much more valuable in terms of education that the homework is their own labor and product”.

Surprise visits should not be made in the first weeks if possible, as it will make the child expectant (like every recess is waiting for visitors…).

The teacher and the family should remain in cooperation.

Parents, school, homework, bedtime and wake up time etc. They should be consistent in their attitudes – as it should be in all matters – both among themselves and among themselves.

Expert help should be sought for compliance problems exceeding two weeks.

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