May we adults be the facilitating bridge in childhood process
A child's first day of school is full of ambivalence like everything that permeates the context of change. This day and this beginning inaugurate an experience that will accompany the child throughout his school life and will later be part of his affective memories.
There are those who remember this day, this semester or the beginning of the school year as a moment of curiosity, of immense joy, of thought and heart a thousand with so much information and new bonds etc. There are those who only remember the feelings of anxiety, the butterflies in the stomach and the fears of entering something unknown and that for each one is a different walk.
This day is full of news for children, but also for those responsible, who often experience their children going to school for the first time.
The school universe is undoubtedly a fundamental support for children to have their social skills stimulated and going to school symbolizes one of the possibilities of giving a different rhythm to childhood.
Although the anxiety and nervousness of some children can sometimes worry family members, this reaction is part of it. There is no way to prepare for anything new without anxiety, but if we adults make the healthy bridge of the process, this anxiety is what will also make the child move in the emotional world and make him experience what can be something fantastic. Parents establish open communication with the little ones, talk about the school, about the future friends they will make, about what they will learn, about possible positive experiences and what the new routine will be like, including involving them in choosing and organizing the school supplies and backpack, depending on their age, will make them belong more and more to this event.
Anticipate at this beginning (as in fairy tales) what will happen on a daily basis, for example: we get ready at home, then you go to school; later, I will come for you; then we go to lunch and so on.
Nothing is more competent at this stage than setting the tone for the little ones of what is to come (in small doses) as they will be able to prepare their own day by themselves, reducing anxious processes, and will be aware that the process of coming and going school is something temporary throughout the day, there will be weekend breaks, mid terms and mid-term vacations, always with the arrival of someone to pick them up and take them to welcome them to their family and home.
Be careful with totally positive (adult) expectations of that day and that beginning, welcome whatever comes from your child and from this period of adaptation, always encourage but don't take too much illusion that everything will be perfect and wonderful because everyone will feel different and it's very important also welcome the fears, what didn't work out that day and the difficulties of your child and yours!!
Anxieties and concerns hover more sharply in families with children in an atypical development, who have some disability or neurodiversity, and for caregivers, concerns are closely related to the acceptance of the child by the school group as a whole and the formation of bonds and friendships with them
Something effective in this case is to be present in this initial period of adaptation and novelties, but without interfering with the flow that your child will build at school and in the surroundings of their own experience.
Each child with typical or atypical development will have their own pace, their tastes, their way of expanding in the world, and yes, they will find their own way of living at school, which can often be different from the choices that family members and parents would make for her, for example, this process for any child and their families needs to be a facilitator.
Here we cannot standardize the ways in which each child experiences their own childhood processes!
Caroene Santos Murray
Perinatal and Parental Psychologist
Clinical Psychologist - Children and adults