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Starting Kindergarten: How to Prepare Your Child

Take a Token from Home

Ask your child if she would like to take something from home with her on her first day. Encourage her to choose something small and comforting, like a doll or a favorite sticker. The presence of a familiar object can give your child a sense of security in her new environment.

Help Your Child Get Oriented

Spend some time in your child's classroom on the first day. Introduce your child to the teacher and the other kindergartners, and point out the bathroom, the lunch area, and your child's cubby and coat hook. If the teacher has set up an arts and crafts activity to occupy and engage children, try to get your child involved in the activity.

Respond to Distress

If your child is acutely anxious, do not scold or ridicule his distress, and do not try to bribe him into behaving. Just remain cheerful and reiterate that you will be back to pick him up at the end of the school day. Remind him that he will be learning exciting new things, and take some time to have him talk to the teacher.

Say Goodbye

Make your goodbye cheerful and brief. Don't come back after you have already said goodbye, and don't slip out of the room unnoticed. Some children like a goodbye ritual, such as two hugs or a secret wave from the window. Again, remind your child when you will return, and make sure you are not late picking her up!



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