Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Help Your Kid Transition To The Next Grade With Less Stress


A big issue for little ones starting school is leaving you!

We are just starting school so let’s talk about something that you may be going through with your children.  Some kids have a really hard time leaving their parent or caregiver for a full day at school.

Most separation issues happen at younger ages. Kindergartners can have a really hard time with this even when they have been in daycare or preschool prior to starting kindergarten. I will say it again KINDERGARTEN is the hardest year of school. The next hardest is 1st then 2nd grade and so on.
Kindergarten is very stressful for many children. You have a role in how stressful, so if you are really worried about it they will know and respond to that.

  • Sleep can be helpful here. Do you need to adjust their sleep time for a short period or for the rest of the school year?  Most schools do not have nap time anymore, if your child still naps play with how to meet their sleep requirements so they can be successful in school.
  • Food – Are they eating lunch at all or is it just gross. Try sending a filling healthy snack but NO CAFFEINE!
  • Down time after school – Things should be quiet, non directive play time for them to just unwind, play with dolls or run outside. You know your child best so if they need a physical release encourage that.  Down time with you is best.  You can just sit with them or play with them but being present and not distracted for a few minutes is helpful.

Be patient with crying in the morning but be careful not to reward this behavior by hovering. As they are getting ready for school don’t coddle but be nurturing and supportive and positive about school. It is OK to bring them to school crying.
Something to assess may be if they were ready for kindergarten. Are they a young kindergartner and just not mature enough at this time? Just hang on and wait it out, they could mature enough during the school. However, they cannot get consequences for not being mature.
These things can happen with kids of all ages at the beginning of school when they are adjusting or nervous, Just be PATIENT!

For more information about Back to School go to my video…

Kary Valdes, LCSW

Facebook at Parent Talk with Kary

This article was originally published at Parent Talk with Kary. Reprinted with permission from the author.


Explore YourTango