The Learning Sanctuary

Coping with Change at Kindergarten

Attending kindergarten is a major event in your child’s life, and it can sometimes be a cause for anxiety. There are a few situations that your child might find challenging, including:

  • Starting kindergarten for the first time
  • Changing kindergarten centres
  • Saying goodbye to an Educator who is moving to another room
  • Moving up a room – for example, from Early Learners to kindergarten

These situations provide the perfect opportunity to help your child manage change in a way that’s constructive. This will teach them that they don’t need to fear change, which in turn will give them the confidence to succeed later in life.


Setting an Example

Children learn by example, which is to say they watch their parents and then copy their behaviour. So if you display signs of anxiety in response to change,  it is likely that your children will automatically mimic these reactions.

It’s a learning experience that goes two ways – by becoming more mindful about your own behaviour in front of your children, you can actually learn a lot about yourself. Learning to take notice of your behaviour is the first step to changing your behaviour – and you might find that after a while of doing this that you start to feel happier and more relaxed.


How to Help Children Adapt to Change

1. Encourage them to ask questions

Give you child the time and encouragement to ask questions about the change. This will help them to process the change and it will also strengthen the special bond of trust between that is shared between child and parent.


2. Give them plenty of warning

Start talking to your children about any upcoming changes as early as possible, so it doesn’t come as a shock. If you get the conversation started early, your child will be better able to mentally adjust when it’s time to change.


3. Understand it takes time for children to adjust to change

Sometimes, no matter how carefully you try to prepare your child for a change, they’ll respond with tantrums and tears. The key here is to try and stop yourself falling into the trap of feeling guilty – it takes children time to adjust to change, and the path to acceptance may not always be smooth.