Young children of preschool age derive their security from order, routine and the consistency of the adults in their lives. When a child starts attending a new school, it is common for him to react to the transition, often with tears. Some
children cry right away while others wait for a few weeks. If you are a parent of a child who is crying when you leave, have faith. All will be well.
Keep in mind that we adults are key to how our children feel about change, and small, seemingly insignificant things can affect the process. Years ago when Pam and I were teaching together, we had a little girl in our classroom who was experiencing separation difficulties. When the mother brought the child, she rarely cried, but when her father dropped her off, the flood gates opened. But why? The dad appeared to be doing everything right. He didn’t linger. He gave a sweet hug and a brief goodbye, but the tone of his voice as he said, “Goodbye
Kelsey” sounded as if he were saying, “Oh, no, you’re going to start crying aren’t you?”
Sometimes the issue isn’t the child’s, but ours. We adults send nonverbal signals young children read more easily and quickly than the words we say. They also know all the buttons to push because they have installed many of them. Having a mission can sometimes build a bridge from home to school. Some ways to do that are:
- Sending food for the class pet, or flowers for the snack table.
- Sending a small breakfast item to eat at the snack table before work time begins.
- Bringing something from nature such as a caterpillar in a jar, or a beautiful fall leaf to distract the child from the emotion of transition.But you are key to a successful transition, too. The most important thing you can do is
relax and trust us. When you are relaxed and confident, your child will be too, and before you know it, life will be good.
But you are key to a successful transition, too. The most important thing you can do is relax and trust us. When you are relaxed and confident, your child will be too, and before you know it, life will be good.