Try these ideas to help your child naturally adjust to her new teacher…
Around eight o’clock every morning, thousands of parents endure a painful version of the “drop-off blues” as their little ones sob their way to the classroom door.
It’s hard on everyone.
Some children struggle with separation anxiety whenever they are away from a parent, while others struggle to form a strong bond with a teacher. The instinct to attach to a caregiver is powerful; in its absence, little ones feel un-tethered.
Teachers generally try their best to help each student adjust, but some are more gifted at fostering attachment than others, and some children are more resistant to what may feel like forced fondness.
If your child hasn’t settled in after a month of starting school or a new grade, look for ways to foster a stronger connection between your child and his or her teacher.
Here are five quick tips for helping things along:
- Ask if your child can come into the classroom early so that he or she can have some quiet time with the teacher, perhaps organising the bookshelf or pinning things to the bulletin board. Without the noise and competition of other children, the two of them may find it easier to get to know one another.
- Create a photo book with your child so that he can share with his teacher. Include pictures that show him doing some of his favourite things or highlighting a family trip. By feeling known by her teacher, your son may begin to feel closer to her.
- Ask if she can be “in charge” of something in the classroom. Many children do well when they have a special job. Maybe you can ask the teacher to put her in charge of feeding the class hamster, or watering the plants. Having a responsibility may help your daughter feel more at home.
- Encourage new friendships. It is far easier for a child to look forward to the school day when she has a friend waiting to play with her. Look for one or two children in the new class who might come over after school. A child who is less outgoing often finds it easier to develop friendships in one-on-one situations.
- Invite the teacher to tell you two or three things about your son that she enjoys. Then share these titbits with your little boy. We tend to feel closer to those who like us, so do a little matchmaking!
Most children adjust to a new teacher as routines become familiar and the classroom begins to feel like a second home. Try these ideas to help your child naturally adjust to her new teacher. If things are still going badly in a few weeks, you may want to ask the school counsellor to help out.