It is fairly common for children who were excited about school last week to start having separation anxiety or complaints about school in the 2nd or 3rd week. It's easy for parents to feel that "something must have happened at school". Much more likely is that the novelty has worn off and the child realizes "this is my life". Suggestions:
- Set an earlier bedtime. The start of school is more draining for children than we realize. If mornings are tough, try moving bedtime 30 minutes earlier. Many children need to go to sleep at 7 or 7:30 through 2nd grade.
- Stay positive. If you waiver about whether the class / teacher / program is good / fun / interesting, your child will pick up on that. If you have concerns, raise them privately with the teacher (e-mail him/her to set up an appointment). Try not to let your child hear you discussing concerns with friends.
- Get to school early. Many children do better if they have some time in the classroom before formal activities start. PK/LK/K children may go to the classroom at 8am. 1st-5th grades at 7:45.
- Be patient. For young children, it can work to spend a few minutes getting your child settled and engaged in the classroom, then a kiss and off you go. If it's tough, try a physical hand-off where you transfer your child's hand from your hand to the teacher's.
And if a tough drop-off threatens to ruin your day, let one of us know on the way out - we'll check on your child and report back!
Linda Bonder, Marketing & Communications Director, LindaB@Intlschool.org, 503-477-5231