Limassol Therapy Center

Adaptation of the child to the school

How can I help my child adjust to primary school?

The adaptation of a child who goes from Pre-Primary to Primary School is an issue that concerns parents and children. The reason is that the transition from one level of education to another brings up changes in many areas of their lives (learning, social, emotional, behavioral, etc.). During this period parents and children experience anxiety and fear for the new / unknown, emotions which are normal in the beginning. Therefore, it is important for parents to be involved in the process of adapting their children to their new beginning as it helps to make it easier and faster for children to adapt to school.

Suggestions for parents:

  1. We manage our own fears and anxieties about our child’s new beginning. In no case we do not become overprotective. We are firm in our views and determined. We do not express our concerns in front of our child.
  2. I let my child express his/her feelings, I listen to him/her without judging and I talk to him/her. We explain to the child that it is normal to be a little stressed when new things happen in life.
  3. We say goodbye to our child when we leave him/her at school. I avoid saying goodbye and leave the message that I will see it later.
  4. We make a few visits to the school with the child before he/she starts to get acquainted with the space and not to feel stressed afterwards.
  5. An important role in the good adaptation of the child at school is the relationship he/she will create with the class teacher. As parents it is important to maintain a neutral attitude and not to express our dissatisfaction in front of the child for the ways of teaching or the ways of managing the teacher’s class. In such cases it is better to have a discussion with the teacher directly about issues that concern us. Finally, cooperation with teachers is of utmost importance.
  6. I discuss with my child my own positive experiences that I had from elementary school. I can also tell my child that in the beginning I experienced negative emotions (anxiety and fear) that he/she is probably experiencing the same, and I emphasize that these are emotions that are normal in his.her new beginning. Older siblings in the family can be involved in the discussion. I can also give examples from other children the child knows.
  7. We read to the child books and fairy tales related to his new beginning. We discuss the changes that will occur and his/her feelings.
  8. Play time and extracurricular activities remain in the child’s schedule. I do not burden the child with private lessons.
  9. I seek afternoon meetings with other children in his/her class in order to strengthen relationships between them (social development).
  10. Creating and motivating my child to go to school (friends, trips, he will learn to read, write, etc.).
  11. Adoption of a program at home. It is important to define a program for studying, afternoon activities, watching TV and computer activities, etc. The program is good to be followed by the children with the cooperation of the whole family.
  12. It is important for the child to become independent. First of all, it is good to participate in the child’s study, to accompany the child in the first days of school, to choose the clothes together, and to make the school bag together. Gradually, it is important for the child to learn to read independently, to make his/her own bag, to choose clothes from the options he/she has and finally, to find his/her place in the classroom on his/her own.
  13. It is important for a child’s daily schedule to be posted in a prominent place in the house. Keep it consistent daily by maintaining its routine.

If the child is having difficulty adjusting for a long time (separation anxiety / school refusal) then it is important to seek professional help.

Militsa Demetriou
Registered School / Educational Psychologist (Registration Number 423)

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