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Expert says kids are more resilient when you think when it comes to school
August 30, 2021
New parents don't need to worry, your kids are more resilient than you think when starting school for the first time, an expert explains.
When you drop your child off at primary school for the first time in September, you would likely feel a mixture of emotions.
For one part you would feel excited about the peace and quiet you're going to get. On the other hand, you'd be concerned whether your child is adjusting well in school.
All of these emotions are completely natural. However, the best thing for your child is for you to keep calm and support them while preparing them for what they're about to face at school.
But as parents, you wonder, how exactly to prepare your child for the exciting new stage of their life in primary school?
For this, the Mirror spoke to Phil Papworth, a child and adolescent psychotherapist in Jersey who has some pointers for parents.
He said: “It’s a critical transitional moment developmentally. Anxiety is often raised in the parents but generally most children are robust enough just to run off and join in.
“It’s a challenging time for children with new challenges and fatigue often a key factor. The adjustments are strong and far reaching, expanding their world and experience.
"One of the key functions of development is for the child to learn and discover a sense of self…’who am I and how do I integrate with this developing world?'”
According to Phil, resilience is the key to adjustment and coping.
He added: “By this age most infants will have had some early experiences of separation from their mothers and experiences in which they have been practicing adaptation and emotional adjustment.”
The real question is, is your child ready, and what can you do as a parent to make sure that they are?
Phil said: “We tend to stagger children into nursery gradually to allow for their developmental vulnerabilities. In some countries such as Finland children don’t even begin to go to school until they are 7 years old.
"The belief is that the child’s development should be fully consolidated within the family before commencing school.”
Ways you can help prepare your child for primary school – including shape game
Primary school is all about providing a framework for a healthy development, it teaches your children emotional intelligence with relationships, and other ‘grown up’ things.
When preparing your child for school, it’s always best to have a chat with staff with any concerns.
Phil said: “Separation for adults from their child is an anxious time… they can seem vulnerable and insecure.
“In order to function independently and to gain independence, such separations are important and necessary.”