If you have a child that is starting kindergarten this fall, you may be thinking a lot more about how you're feeling about your baby becoming a big kid. Pride mingled with sadness, followed by, "How the heck did this happen?" is filling your head right about now. While you do need to practice saying goodbye without bursting into tears, your child also needs some reassurances about this major step in his or her life.
Marching up to the front doors of the school with confidence is a great way to begin the year. You can help your kid be ready and get excited for kindergarten by doing these three things before the first school bell rings.
1. Get to Know Your Classmates
One of the scariest things about starting school could be the fear of whether or not your kindergartner will make friends. Walking into a room of strangers is challenging at any age, but luckily it's very appropriate to set up play dates with other kids who will be in your child's class. Meet at a park, on neutral ground, and let the kids get to know each other. That way, there will be some familiar faces on her first day, and she has someone to look forward to seeing once she walks into the classroom.
2. Take Your Kid to the Store
You'll be given a pretty significant list of items your child will need in the classroom. Instead of taking care of it on your lunch hour, make a date with your child. Start the date or end it with a special lunch, trip to the ice cream shop, or a movie. While you're at the store, let your child pick out his supplies and gear. Even if you're not crazy about a Spider-Man lunch box, if he'll be stoked to carry it every day, let him have it.
3. Let Your Kindergartner Go on a Tour
If it's not already pre-arranged for you to visit the classroom before the first day, call the principal and ask if your child can come by to see where she'll be spending so much time in the next year. Before you go, talk to your child about what she's most excited about learning -- that way, you can be sure and point out the art studio, the library, or the playground. Focusing on what she is most interested in and allowing her to visualize herself doing it will go a long way in creating enthusiasm for school.
Is your child excited about starting kindergarten?
Image via Sean Hackbarth/Flickr