Surviving Kindergarten

It’s an exciting and emotional time for parents and kids, which can make the first week of kindergarten a bit chaotic. 7’s Lynn Martinez has advice on making the move easier in today’s Parent to Parent.

WSVN — Remember those fun and carefree days of pre-school? Well, we all know making that transition to kindergarten can be tough for everyone.

Gladys Montes, United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education: “Hard week for the parents, hard week for the teachers and very hard week for the children.”

There are just so many new things to learn.

Gladys Montes: “There’s a lot of transitions, a lot of adjustments and they don’t occur all on the first day.”

Paula admits she’s a little nervous about her 5-year-old son Emilio’s big move.

Paula Moujalli: “I’m really anxious about him going to kindergarten.”

Gladys Montes from the United Way has several tips for parents that can ease some of the first week jitters.

Gladys Montes: “Label everything that belongs to your child.”

Kids tend to misplace things, so having them write their name on their supplies reminds them it belongs to them. That includes their backpack.

Gladys Montes: “They’re going to forget that backpack, that backpack I’m sure maybe stayed yesterday in the classroom.”

Also make sure your child has emergency contact information on them.

Gladys Montes: “So, if you can put a little paper inside their backpack that states who’s the contact person to phone in case of an emergency.”

Something else you may have overlooked. Your little one will most likely be eating in a cafeteria for the first time.

Gladys Montes: “They are going to be carrying trays they’ve never carried before.”

Show them how to carry a tray and how to open a milk carton.

Gladys Montes: “If we all help each and every one of our children, we’re going to have a better experience.”

Emilio’s mom read to him every night over the summer.

Paula Moujalli: “Because, I was explaining to him that now we’re going to have a reading log and fill that out.”

And she let him help pick out his new uniform.

Paula Moujalli: “We went together to buy his uniform, which was another transition.”

Most importantly mom and dad, be positive about the new experience.

Paula Moujalli: “The more anxious you are the more anxious a child is going to be.”

Lynn Martinez: Remember parents if it doesn’t go smoothly right away don’t get discouraged. The experts say sometimes it takes until after labor day for your child to feel comfortable in their new role.

United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education: