Coping with Kindergarten Adjustment
Q. Since school started it’s been a daily battle to get my child off to kindergarten. She whines, cries and procrastinates. At school, she prefers being with the teacher to her classmates. And rather than paying attention to her work, she tries to see what the rest of the class is doing. The teacher is not very happy with our daughter’s behavior. What should we do?
A. Your daughter is in kindergarten, a year during which she is learning to adjust to the school environment. She needs to practice listening and sharing skills, as well as learn how to behave appropriately in the classroom. Mastering these tasks will prepare her to focus on reading and math in the first grade.
Your daughter’s reluctance to get ready in the morning probably ties into her difficulty adjusting to school, so a first step may be to make the morning routine as simple and pleasant as possible.
It sounds as if you have talked to the teacher about the situation at school. Many young children do prefer being with the teacher until they make friends with their classmates. Schedule play dates with your daughter’s classmates to help her get to know some of the children.
The teacher could help your daughter get to know children by putting her in a small group with other students. Some children also do better when they are seated in the front of the room, away from the distraction of so many other children.
Visit the classroom to observe your child’s behavior and then talk with the teacher about ways the two of you can work together to improve your daughter’s behavior. Give her some practice assignments at home similar to those she does at school and help her learn to stay on task. Or play-act work situations at school with your daughter to help her come up with solutions to her challenges.
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