Jul 29, 2014

Five Tips for First-Time Kindergarten Parents

Don't let first-day nerves get the best of you or your child.

Five Tips for First-Time Kindergarten Parents Five Tips for First-Time Kindergarten Parents Five Tips for First-Time Kindergarten Parents Five Tips for First-Time Kindergarten Parents

The first day of kindergarten has finally arrived.

Who's more nervous? The parents or the children?

The first week of school can run the gamut when it comes to emotions -- the week can be scary, frustrating or fantastic. One thing is for sure, however. If the first week doesn't start off on the right foot, it will get better and will soon become routine.

In hopes of alleviating the fears of first-time kindergarten parents, William Mudlock, principal at , talked with Patch about how parents can ensure they and their kindergarteners make a smooth transition into school life.

  1. School is a Safe Place. There are three elementary schools in the Nazareth Area School District. Each is a safe and secure place where each child will feel that people care about them, according to Mudlock.

    Mudlock added that if parents have any questions during the school year, he encourages them to contact their child’s teacher, the school's secretaries or Mudlock himself.

    “We’re here to help,” Mudlock said. “[Parents] can go to work and [know] their child is in a safe place.”


  • Bus Numbers and Drivers -- Make Sure They Know Them. One of the top concerns for parents of kindergartners is transportation, according to Murdock. Putting a child on a bus can actually be scarier for the parent than for the child.

    The district requires students to wear tags with their names and bus numbers on them during the first week of school, but the principal urges parents to also rehearse the bus number and the driver’s name with their children.

  • Other Means of Transportation. For children who do not take the bus, they should be able to recognize their parents' vehicle or that of another family member who may be picking them up from school, according to Mudlock.

    For elementary school students who walk to school, Mudlock urges parents to walk to and from school every day with them because of their young age.

  • Crying Happens. It Gets Better. When kindergartners arrive at school for the first time, there are about 10 to 15 children who cry when their parents or guardians get ready to leave, Mudlock said.

    The separation anxiety normally subsides within a day or two, according to Mudlock.

    Mudlock advises parents to encourage their children to head inside with a school employee at the door. Once inside the classroom, the teacher will help the child get involved with a project or with something else happening. In about 10 minutes, added Mudlock, the child will have completely forgotten about the parting.

  • Lunchtime is Monitored. When it comes to lunchtime, food allergies can be a big concern for some parents, according to Mudlock.

    Four staff members at Shafer monitor the cafeteria, but parents should make sure their child knows what he or she is allergic to.
  • At the end of the day, adds Mudlock, parents should ask their children specific questions about their day at school. Ask them what the name of the book was that they read in class, the names of new friends, etc.

    Parents should also build their children's confidence by emphasizing their good qualities, and to always remain positive when talking about school.

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