Back to school. Tips on adjusting children

Back to school. Tips on adjusting children

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Going back to school is a change in routine for many children, while for others it is their first time. In order for these changes to occur naturally in children's lives and not involve trauma for them, psychologist Elvira Sánchez-Igual, communication director of AMEI (World Association of Early Childhood Educators) explains to us in an interview with exclusive to what is the adaptation period for children and how should we carry it out by combining positions between parents and teachers.

What is intended with the period of adaptation of the child to school?
The adaptation period serves for the child to move in the most natural way possible from his home, where he or she is the king or queen and his parents are focused on him, to another new environment. If you have previously gone to school and the environment is not new, but it does involve a change, the adaptation period makes it easier for this change to take place in the most natural way possible. In other words, he goes from an environment where he is the king to another where he has to learn to share, all in a very natural, very positive and above all very constructive way.

How is the routine of this adaptation period?
During the adaptation period it is important that the child establishes a series of routines, because he comes from home with a series of schedules and customs, and he arrives at the school and has to create new routines. For example, at the entrance he arrives in assembly, greets all the children, who obviously when he arrives at home he does not. We also have to take food into account: at home he eats one way and at the school we will try to make him eat another, but in principle we must be very flexible with everything that involves a change in his routines.

How can parents collaborate with teachers in this adjustment period?
Parents and teachers must go hand in hand in this period of adaptation, because we both really seek the same thing, the happiness of the child. The teachers will explain to us how this procedure is going to be in the classroom and parents, on the other hand, must tell the teacher about the peculiarities of each child. We have to be very happy, very positive, with a very constructive attitude and tell the child that he is going to have a different experience, that he is going to see his friends, that he is going to meet new friends, that it is going to be a very playful experience and fun, and you will learn a lot. In this way, we will spread positivism and joy so that the children face it in a positive way. If we go with fear or insecurity, the children will perceive it and it will be even worse for them.

What advice would you give parents to prepare their children for going back to school?
The return to school must be prepared together. First, we will explain to the child that, in fifteen days or a week, the holidays are over and we are going back to school. We can go to buy textbooks, backpacks, cases or any other type of school material with them, so that the children can participate in going back to school. We can also try, little by little, to establish new routines, for example if when the school period begins the child has to wake up at 8 o'clock to enter at 9 o'clock, we can go little by little waking him up a little earlier.

What advice could you give parents so that the goodbye on the first day is the best possible?
So that the farewell to the first day of a child in the educational center is as less traumatic as possible, our advice is always to dismiss the child with a smile on the lips, because if the child sees that you leave him happy, content, knowing that he is going to be comfortable, that they will treat him well, the child will be happy because he will gain confidence in himself.

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