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Settling at School

Hints On How to Help Your Child Settle at St Martin’s Pre-Primary School...
  • Be up-beat and positive in your approach - if you need to shed a little tear, try and do it out of your child’s presence.
  • Trust the professionalism and experience of your child’s teachers.
  • Say “Goodbye” and do not linger; you can stay and do a puzzle once he/she has settled. Initially, “hanging around” simply creates emotional conflict in your child. The school will ‘phone you if your child does not settle after a short while.
  • Sometimes it helps if the “other” parent drops off during the settling period; Dad may be less emotional or Mum may be more matter-of-fact.
  • Your child has the right not to like their new school at first. (And with some it may be later, after the “honeymoon period”!) Expect tales of woe about “no friends” and “unkind teachers”, it is your child’s way of expressing his/her understandable insecurity and/or negative opinions. A tummy ache is the classic symptom!
  • If you have reservations yourself, discuss them out of your child’s hearing - you are probably just settling too! Better still, talk to the Principal or class teacher about your concerns.
  • And if you talk to the teacher about your child’s progress, out of earshot is essential.
  • Generally, it takes around three-ish weeks for the more sensitive child to settle. And don’t forget, even the “gung-ho/heroic” individual is likely to have a wobbly at some time, often after the long July holiday - it inevitably happens SOME time!
  • Be positive and committed in your actions, comments and body language. Also, helping with tasks at school sends a subliminal message to your child: “I like this place, I like these people, I am happy you are there.
  • Don’t ask too many questions at first, and those that you do, make specific. “What was the story about?” is likely to get a much better response than: “What did you do at school today?
  • Help your child socially by inviting home classmates to play, maybe even work through the class until an affinity has been established. Or your child’s teacher can recommend likely candidates. This really helps your child become socially confident as they are operating from a position of strength: “This is my house/my Mum/my toys, etc!
These will surely do the trick....

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