We get inundated with queries about the changes in children’s behaviour during the first few weeks of school so we thought we would share some info about what to expect. We hope this will help reassure you as parents and carers and support you to support your child’s transition into school life and all that it brings!
During the first few weeks you may notice one or all of the following characteristics blossoming in your child’s behaviour and attitude. Please be confident that all of these things are completely normal whether you are experiencing one or all of the following:
Your child is TIRED AND STROPPY!
The emotional build up to school and then the actual routine of getting up, facing a new environment with new social expectations and experiences is utterly exhausting for your child (an yourselves!). We have many children falling asleep after recess! This is NORMAL and completely OK. You can support your child by ensuring they get to bed at a consistently early time, eat big breakfasts and pack super healthy lunches. Don’t worry, they will adapt themselves but expect it to take at least one term.
They are clingy and teary in the morning- even though they weren’t on the first day!
Most kids go through a phase of getting progressively more clingy and teary as the reality sinks in that they will have to come to school day after day. The great news is that this generally lasts a couple of weeks as they become more confident socially and begin to engage with their learning.
The absolute BEST THING YOU CAN DO EVER is to please please please continue the quick kiss, a big smile and “see you soon” routine in the morning.
This goes for everyone. When we have adults hanging around at the beginning of the day it is really daunting and scary for the kids who are feeling anxious. Just imagine it from their point of view- they come in, say goodbye, are feeling a little sad and suddenly its really loud, there is no clear place for them to go to, once they do sit down they are distracted from settling by the volume of conversation in the room, they are surrounded by a ring of strangers towering over them like a wall, they feel trapped and uncomfortable because all the big strangers are staring and pointing and their teachers aren’t able to distract them because it is too loud! I would cry too!!!!
We totally understand that you love seeing your kids at school but we do respectfully ask that as parents and carers you respect all of the students and give them the best chance to settle by quickly and positively saying goodbye, keeping the noise level down, exiting the room promptly and taking conversations outside. Thanks!
Your child doesn’t tell you what they did at school!
We get this one all the time! First of all, your kids are so busy learning how to be at school that they don’t tend to store and record activities as conscious memories. Rather, they engage subconsciously with an activity because they are focusing intently on skills and techniques. For example, your child may be able to tell you how to roll a plasticine sausage if you ask them but may not remember that they spent an hour playing with plasticine today. This is because they have been focused on the skill, not the activity. Check out our Triciclo blog for some great insights into your child’s school experiences and if in doubt, ask the teacher!
You’re not sure if they are eating or drinking enough and sometimes there are things left in the lunchbox.
Every day before recess and before lunch, the children are given at least half an hour to sit and eat form their lunch boxes. At any time during the day, children are allowed to drink water from their drink bottles. Although we have not mentioned this collectively to the preps at this stage, if a child does make us aware of their hunger, we encourage them to take some fruit or veg from their lunchbox. The reason we haven’t yet floated this with the whole group is to encourage an eating routine and to avoid kids eating everything in their lunchboxes at whim!
Often, kids are so ravenously hungry that they eat a few things really quickly and feel full. We do encourage the kids to eat the small things at snack and the big things at lunch but sometimes there are so many small yummy things that even half an hour isn’t long enough for them to move to the big sandwichey stuff.
We also maintain that eating is a social time for them to make conversation whilst enjoying their meal and this practice doubles as preparation for socializing outside. We do of course, ensure that children are eating whilst getting to know each other and that food is not shared of left behind on the carpet.
If you have major concerns about your child’s eating behaviours, please do let us know so we can help them!