Whether it’s starting pre-school, montessori, primary ‘big’ school or returning after the summer break, it is for most families a time for new transitions, readjustments, tight routines and the joy of thinking of lunch ideas that we hope will keep our children full to the brim during their school day! When your child begins their journey of meeting new children and teachers or if they are settling in to senior infants, 1st class etc.. We wonder will he make new friends. Will he manage in the school yard? Will he be able to listen and follow directions? More times than not it can be more overwhelming for the parent than the child, this is natural and our own maternal instincts kicking in. As we all know it may take time for some children to settle more so than others, however no matter how well adjusted a child may be it comes with a settling in period. Once they become familiar with their own teacher, class routine and new pals, the more secure they will feel in their new environment. As a parent you want to be able to support your child as best you can through school regardless of their age and in doing so here are a few guidelines..
1. Tuning into your child by listening & talking to them Although you would like to know everything that your child gets up to in their school day, for most you’re lucky to get very tiny snippets or sometimes nothing at all! Stay strong Avoid lots of questions however chat to them about their friends, encourage them to do their best and praise their best efforts, have a corner of the kitchen to display their work, allow them feel that sense of pride. Listening to your child allows you tune into what they may actually be worried or scared about as well as what they like and are good at in school.
2. Establish a positive relationship with your child’s school When your child can see you working closely with their teachers in their best interests it can benefit them a lot. Creating a positive relationship with both school and teacher lets your child know that their school life is important and that you value what they are learning.
3. Meeting other parents Similarly if you are or were attending a support group or parent toddler group from when your child was a baby, getting to know other parents as a form of common ground and general support is always a positive thing. Likewise getting to know parents through your child’s school allows you make connections and opportunities to create good communication and an overall positive experience.
4. Value your child’s learning By showing enthusiasm in learning outside of school and homework can be very encouraging for your child. Let your child see you read about new things, finding out or exploring something new. As a way of showing your child that learning can come in different forms, take time out to visit the Zoo or the variety of Irish museums under the National Museum of Ireland (free admission). It’s amazing how much we can all learn as family too!