Isn’t it amazing how quickly time flies? When you held your little angel in your embrace for the first time, you must have surely thought it’s going to be a long and beautiful journey raising him. Sooner than you could imagine, you see your little one all grown up and ready to kickoff kindergarten in his adorable uniform and bag pack. Before you drop your kid to school on his first day, make sure you prepare him to face the brand new chapter in his life with a lot more than mere school supplies. What he also needs is the confidence and courage to bond with people who may not necessarily belong to his closed and guarded circle of friends and family, especially if he is shy.
Here are 5 Ways to Prepare a Shy Child for Kindergarten:
- Visit His School – The best way to ease your child into this new phase is by making him comfortable with the surroundings and people at kindergarten before his first day. Take your child on a visit to his kindergarten school and introduce him to his teachers. Let him see his classroom and get accustomed to the new environment that he will soon be a part of. Talk to his teachers about his shy nature so they are more vigilant while dealing with him and ensure he doesn’t feel left out. This exercise will significantly reduce your child’s anxiety about joining kindergarten as he would be more familiar with what’s coming.
- Role Playing – Practical learning is what works best with little children. As your child gears up for school, it’s a good idea to make him aware of various situations that he may face through role modeling. Pick out common instances and scenarios that are relevant to preschool and use role play to explain those to your child. For example, if a kid in your little one’s class asks him if he can use his red crayon, tell your child the right thing to say and do in that situation. Similarly, if your kid’s teacher appreciates his drawing, tell him what he should say in return. Begin this practice at least a month before your child starts school, so nothing comes as a surprise to him when he joins. Research suggests that role playing also contributes to the cognitive development of young kids.
- Kindergarten Reading – If your child is a lover of fanciful bedtime stories, using kindergarten books to familiarize him with common school activities and conversations can work wonders. This practice will not only reduce the fear of the unknown in your child, but it will also teach him ideas to strike meaningful conversations with his peers. Get a hold of as many books as you can that are specifically for kids who are starting school. The more your child reads, the better equipped he will be.
- Family Dates – Another good idea to help your child bond and socialize with other kids from his class is by holding family get-togethers. Meet other parents whose child is also joining the same school as yours and organize fun family events like picnics and potlucks. This will give your child an opportunity to know and connect with some of his prospective classmates well in advance and prevent him from going into a shell when he joins school. You never know, you could even be setting base for a lifetime of friendship!
- Pre-School Classes – Do you see the streak of a budding artist in your child? Or is he blessed with a natural flair for music? In addition to giving your child the freedom to explore his creative genius at home by singing, acting, drawing, and coloring, you should also enroll him in classes that will help polish his talent. Not only will these classes offer a great medium for learning to your child, but also help him open up to other kids of the same age, sharing the same interests as his.
Your tiny tot is soon going to enter into a new life phase that’s going to bring with a whirlwind of emotions, learnings, and discoveries. It’s your duty to minimize the impact of the journey’s initial bumps and ensure a smooth ride, in the long run!
If you are finding that you need some support from parents with school aged children, please feel free to request an invitation to my Parenting Support Group on Facebook. We have helped many parents with parenting challenges including preparing children for Kindergarten and more!