Diane Sasser | 7/14/2005 2:29:54 AM
Parents tend to work very hard to prepare their children for the first day of school but do not prepare themselves for the change. Parents can do many things to ready themselves for this transition, says LSU AgCenter family life professor Dr. Diane D. Sasser.
"Trust is the most important issue that a parent deals with," the family development expert says, explaining, "Parents need to trust the caregiver or teacher with whom they are leaving their child."
Sasser advises parents to investigate the school to meet the teachers to see how they work with the children and what the learning environment is like. Parents should start researching the school nine to 10 months prior to registration.
"Many schools start registration in February, so parents should make time to check out the schools beforehand," Sasser recommends.
Many parents also have a fear of the unfamiliar. They wonder if their child will be well cared for and how the child will act without them. "Many parents fear that if their child acts up they will be viewed as bad parents," Sasser says.
Parents also have a tough time letting go. To make the adjustment, Sasser suggests that parents should start leaving the child with people they trust, such as relatives, neighbors and friends, to see how the child (and they) react to the separation.
"It is very common for both parents and child to experience separation anxiety during the school years," Sasser says. She offers some key ways to for parents to prepare for the start of school:
• Talk with other parents. Talking with other parents who have children around your child’s age helps, because they can share similar problems and concerns.
• Check out schools and options. Parents should find a perfect fit for their child and themselves. Start out with what is comfortable for both parent and child.
• Get involved. Many preschools encourage parent participation. Get to know your child’s teachers so you will feel comfortable leaving your child with them. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
For information on related family and consumer topics, click on the Family and Home link at the LSU AgCenter Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.
On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/
Source: Diane D. Sasser (225) 578-4448, or Dsasser@agcenter.lsu.edu