My son is very nervous about going to “big boy” school. He has been at a small Montessori school ever since he was 21/2, and now we are off to kindergarten. I have tried to make this transition sound fun and painless, but he is whining and complaining of a stomach ache, and we have not even started school yet! What can I do to alleviate his stress levels and make this school year the best ever?
One thing I noticed was your use of “big boy” in mentioning the new school, and that may be part of your problem. Your son may be feeling quite pressured to perform, and add to that a new environment, and I would have a stomach ache too! Transitioning into kindergarten can be a little bumpy, as change is always hard…especially with the little’s! Ask him why he feels nervous about going, and work towards answering that specific problem. It would benefit him if you could get with the homeroom mom and set up a playdate prior to school starting so that he has a friend or two going into the first day. At lunchtime, having a buddy will give him something to look forward to and make the first days less scary. Lastly, I always told my children to do their best. I knew that if they felt that had tried their best, then that was all I could ask of them. Stop saying “big boy” school and just talk about the excitement of making new friends, seeing old ones and learning cool stuff! He should transition fine after a week or two!
Alisa Murray, aka “Auntie A,” is an a-winning columnist and fine-art photographer.
She holds a BS in Psychology.