Back to school: Tips for the littlest students

HARTFORD -- A new school year can be a nerve-wracking experience for both you and your child.

Whether starting preschool or kindergarten, some children may be worried about the new setting and the new experience. From first day jitters to unfamiliar surroundings, going back to school isn’t always easy.  Four-year-old student Chloe and Mary Popick, director at The Goddard School located in Glastonbury, joined FOX 61 Good Day Connecticut to tell us more about steps that parents and families can take to help their children make a successful transition.

  • Familiarize your child with the new setting: Visiting the preschool classroom a few times before school starts can ease the entrance into unfamiliar territory. Let your child explore and observe the class in his or her own way.
  • Communicate: Take time to ask your child’s new teacher how he or she handles these first potentially tear-filled days. At The Goddard School, our teachers and directors are easily accessible to talk through how the first week will be structured to make transition smooth.
  • Assess your own feelings: Young children can pick up on their parents’ nonverbal cues. If you feel guilt or worried about leaving your child at school, he or she will sense it. The more calm and assured a parent is, the more confident your child will be.
  • Establish the partnership: When you enter the classroom on the first day, reintroduce the teacher to your child and work together to establish a drop-off routine that will work for both you and the teacher.
  • Saying good-bye: A predictable farewell routine can make leaving easier. Also, keep in mind that most children do well once their parents leave. Some parents wave from outside a certain classroom window or make a funny goodbye face, while others read a short book before parting.
  • Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy breakfast and having children organize and set out what they need the night before school is also a great way to ease back-to-school butterflies.