It is normal for children to be afraid of new situations, including starting day care or kindergarten (see our previous post). If your child says, “I don’t want to go to school”; it is important to recognize your child’s fears and not tell your child that his fears are “silly” or “stupid.” To your child, they are very real. It can also help your child to know that he is not alone, that many of the other children going to school or day care for the first time have the same fears he does.
Children often have trouble pinpointing exactly what they are afraid of. It’s hard to fight a fear you can’t define. Talk with your child about what it is about school or day care that worries him. If he says, “everything”; ask questions and listen to your child’s answers until you are able to figure out exactly what he is afraid of: making friends, being able to do the work, having a new teacher, getting lost in a new school, etc.
Once you know what your child’s concerns are, you can take steps to reduce his anxiety and help him conquer his fears. Talking about what to expect and reading books about going to school. Schedule a visit to the school or day care center so he can see where everything is and arrange to meet his teacher. The more familiar your child is with his new school, the less frightening it will seem.
At Horizon Education Centers we understand that children are often nervous about new situations and encourage parents to schedule introductory visits with their children. Contact us today to schedule your visit!