It’s lunchtime and they cannot open their lunch boxes, what would they do?
There are several things that go on in the mind of a child when transitioning from nursery or kindergarten to a bigger school. The adjustment phase can be seamless to some, while other children might feel anxious and uneasy. This anxiety can stem from simple situations that we may not perceive as intimidating to a child. It could be as simple as not being able to open their lunch boxes or getting lost on their way to class.
It’s important to remember that children are more resilient than we think and, crucially, this quality needs to be developed. Teaching our children independence can begin with encouraging them to do simple things on their own, like putting on shoes and buttoning their own shirts in the morning. Such tasks can help them come a long way in dealing with new situations and challenges, as their perception of themselves is one of independence rather than dependence.
Getting your child ready for the first day of school isn’t just about new uniforms and pens. Having conversations with your child about school and what they should expect on their first day can ease any fear or anxiety they might have about this new experience.
Communication and connection between parent and child in these early stages is key but can also be quite difficult. All parents know how difficult it can be to learn how the day was for their child. Parents can stimulate conversations with cues like telling them about our day and what we thought was challenging to create an environment where our children feel safe and encouraged to share in more details about their day and what they’ve found challenging in return.
“A child’s first day of school can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience but our teachers are always around to make sure children at GIS find the transition seamless,” said Mariella Vittetoe-Castillo, Head of Counselling at GIS. “It is also equally important for us to educate our parents as to what they should expect when their children first start school and how to help them cope with the transition so that they’re happy and ready to learn.”
This topic was discussed in depth during one of GIS’s weekly Parent Workshops as part of the “Raising a Child in an International Environment” series. Educating our parents and offering them the tools to better understand the educational environment of their children is an essential part of the GIS learning culture.
At GIS, we bring out the best in everyone, both inside and outside of the classroom through our unique learning culture where we pursue our passions and strive for excellence; all in the spirit of respect, integrity and well-being.