By: Elena Orsak, Oak Kindergarten Teacher
The children are happy, and exhausted. It takes a lot from everyone to make the transition from summer to school. You may feel that schedule wise it is simpler and easier, and it probably is! However, for the young child, the beginning of the year requires a lot. For some children it may seem like they come home with more energy than ever. You may think they need to run around the block five times. For others they may come home tired and emotional about all the little things, and you immediately think that bedtime should be just around the corner. Often times in both scenarios, the child is saying the same thing. Their little bodies are working hard to adjust on many levels. Below are a few thoughts that can support having a healthy, confident and settled child.
- When you pick up your child, have an already decided plan for the afternoon and evening. The simpler the better.
- Limit choices and unnecessary questions. When you show your child that you as mom or dad know what is best, it will ultimately offer them a sense of security.
- If you are able, eat dinner earlier, begin the bedtime routine earlier, and allow them to fall asleep earlier. Just think what it would be like to feel that its just the adults in the household who are awake by 7:30pm!
- If you feel so inclined, you can bring some of the reverent moments of the classroom home. These are greatly calming and rich in value. Have a candle that is lit at the dinner table. Say a blessing of some kind. Ask your child to sit at the table and keep the family company, even if they are done. Just like the kindergarten snack table, you can ask for the same golden manners at home. Parents are often shocked at the impeccable manners that are in our classroom. I invite you to ask them to have those manners at home as well! There is a big difference between, “May I have something to drink please?” and, “I’m thirsty!” In the classroom when we are working on this, I may simply ask a child to try asking that question again. I often let them know that Miss Elena can only hear golden requests. If there is a demand of any kind and they get no response from me, the message is pretty clear. This is of course all done with love and a constant twinkle in my eye.