Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Parent to Parent: First Day Of School
It's a day full of anxiety and excitement. Heading off to school for the first time can be very stressful for your new student. But in tonight's Parent To Parent, we found being prepared requires more than a clean outfit and a brown bag lunch.
WSVN--In less than a week, four-year-old Sofia Kuhn and her mom Claudia will embark on a new adventure, Sofia's first day at school.
Sofia's Mother Claudia Kuhn: "We are excited but we are a little nervous. She's been at home up until now and we're just not sure how she's going to react to the whole school experience."
An experience that can be just as unsettling for parent as child.
Claudia: "There's days that we're here and I know she needs the activity, she needs the stimulation from school. Other days I'm thinking "how's she gonna do? And I'm gonna miss her."
But there are ways you can make the transition to the classroom easier for everyone. First things first, talk about it.
7 News Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: "It is very important to put a lot of attention and focus on that day because that is a day that is going to set the tone for the rest of the school year."
7 news parenting expert, Dr. Sally says make an appointment to visit your child's new school.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "The whole idea is that the school should not be a foreign place. Get to know it and get to feel good about it."
Then, get to know your child's teacher, and if possible, another child in the class.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "So that you can explain to your child before she goes off to school on that first day, how much you know about the school, and how much you like the teacher.
Once you've reassured your child, go through a dry run. Practice making lunch and even taking the trip to school.
Dr.Sally Goldberg: "You can do a practice of getting the outfit out the night before and putting it on and pretending that's the first day."
As for mom and dad's first day fears.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "The main idea is to hold up a strong, confident exterior no matter what you think inside so that you give that confident exterior message to your child."
Claudia's taking Dr. Sally's advice. She and Sofia have brown bagged it and even visited her new school grounds. They're both excited about their new adventure.
Claudia: "There's a lot of feelings going on. So I think hopefully if I just am strong and I don't start to cry, like she probably will, we're gonna be ok."
Make sure to give yourself extra time to say goodbye on the first day of school. Dr. Sally says once school starts make sure to have a parent teacher communication system even if that means just writing a quick note to your child's teacher.
E-MAIL QUESTIONS TO:
DR. SALLY GOLDBERG'S WEBSITE:
BOOKS FOR KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS (COMPILED BY FRANCIS MOYER, READING SPECIALIST):
Miss Bindergarten gets ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! By Nancy Carlson
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Tiptoe Into Kindergarten by Jacqueline Rogers
Welcome To Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell
Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee
First Day, Hooray! By Nancy Poydar