It took a while for her to settle in, but over the last two years Nadia has flourished in preschool. In fact, it's been hard for me to imagine kindergarten being as great. This concern quickly vanished when we visited the school Nadia will attend. I couldn't wait to hear Nadia's reaction, but she didn't really want to talk about it.
"I'll bet they don't cook in that kindergarten. There's no stove," was the only remark she made. I mentioned how nice the teacher seemed and that maybe she would arrange to have cooking, but this didn't seem to reassure Nadia. She began to suck her thumb, something she hasn't done in over a year! I know it must be hard for her to leave a place where she's been so happy. How can I make the transition easier? THE TEACHER'S STORY
"C'mon, Nadia, let's play school. You can be the teacher this time," Emily said to her friend. But Nadia wouldn't leave my side.
For the most part, Nadia seems ready for kindergarten; she's a keen listener and eager to learn. I'm really surprised that she's hack to sucking her thumb!
"Kindergarten doesn't have a fish tank," Nadia told me this afternoon. "Two girls hadda go to the library all by themselves. I don't know how to go to the library," Nadia said in a breaking voice.
It all came together. I assured Nadia that the teacher would show her how to find the school's library. How can I reassure her and help her look forward to the move? DR. BRODKIN'S ASSESSMENT
Happily, both the teacher and parent understand why Nadia hasn't been her usual self these last few days. Children in Nadia's situation often regress to previous comforting behaviors, such as thumb sucking or seeking out old comfort objects. WHAT MADIA'S PARENTS CAN DO
As the summer wanes, it might help to talk to Nadia about some of the new, interesting activities she'll do in kindergarten. Opportunities to play with friends who are also going to the new school should be encouraged. Invite old school friends over to demonstrate to Nadia that she won't be losing them. Both her parents and teacher should 1et Nadia know how delighted they are with her progress. Point out all of the things she's able to do now that she's been to preschool. Discuss how much more she'll discover and enjoy in kindergarten! WHAT MADIA'S TEACHER CAN DO
The teacher should not be dismayed by Nadia's apparent regression. She's correct in expecting that a youngster who is curious and eager to please will do very nicely in kindergarten. For the remainder of the year, the teacher should slip in comments about all of the fun that's ahead. When it's time to part, it would he beneficial for the teacher to make it clear that she'll still be around. Once Nadia's had some time to settle in, the teacher can invite her to come back and visit the preschool.