Starting school can be a big step for children and their families. Getting ready for prep can mean different things for different children and families, however even children that are ready for Big School may experience challenges with adjustment.
Australia has one of the youngest school starting ages in the world and so our even littler ones are moving into a whole new world at quite a young developmental age. What are the signs they may need more support and what can you do to help?
What to expect leading into the start of prep and the first few weeks
Many children feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety when starting school. This is the same feeling we all get when we start something new and is a normal response to novel situations whether it be starting a new grade at school, heading off to university, or starting in a new workplace.
So what are the signs in a 4 or 5 year old that they may be feeling it all a bit more intensely?
- tearful behaviour
- nightmares and problems sleeping
- new fears they’ve not expressed before
- “clingy” behaviour toward adult familiar adult carers
- change in sleeping patterns in general
- tummy aches or headaches with no physical condition.
- change in eating patterns, and reverting back to being more fussy
- tantrums or acting out when discussing or doing things related to starting school like buying uniforms or overhearing parents discussing new routines
If you, or other carers of your child including day carers, grandparents and friends notice signs that are affecting your child’s normal behaviour it may be time to slow down and go back to some basics to make the transition to big school a little more smooth for them. See your GP or contact us if you feel you need some more support.
Read more: What does Prep Readiness mean