Have you seen all of those back-to-school pictures on your Facebook feed? This time of year is exciting, but can be a tough transition for Kindergartners. This is their first time they have been to school or even away from their family. Emotions can run high for both children and parents during this transition. Many children need comfort items or words to get them through the day, but all children need a positive relationship with an adult to make them feel safe and secure so they can venture off to school and be ready to learn in this new environment. For many years, researchers have discussed the importance of attachment in early childhood. It is widely accepted that relationships are an important part of the healthy developmental processes.
Adults must support children’s social and emotional development in addition to their cognitive skills. They also must assist children to navigate conflicts with peers, easing the transition from home to school each day, and helping children identify their feelings and needs. An adult who is responsive to the emotional needs of a child will be rewarded with a child who is excited, interested, and engaged.
Supporting a child’s healthy social and emotional growth takes commitment from all the primary caregivers in a child’s life. This includes mothers, fathers, grandparents, teachers, and other key adults. It’s important to remember that children in the primary years observe and learn from our relationships. What they observe shapes their expectations of how people treat others and therefore influences their developing social skills and emotional competence.
A great book to introduce your little one to the kindergarten transition is “Clifford goes to Kindergarten.” The book shows how Emily goes from the comfort of her home into they new world of school.
Looking for more information on supporting children’s healthy social and emotional development? Check out our publication The Role of Relationships in the Primary Years for tips on building relationships.
Lisa Poppe, Extension Educator | The Learning Child
(This article was originally published in NebLine by Poppe. It is republished here with permission)
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