A Message from Abby Aloni, Head of Early Childhood: May 26
Abby Aloni, Head of Early Childhood
Dear Early Childhood Parents, 
The end of the school year is filled with lots of excitement and activity. While eager for the summer adventures ahead, students often have mixed feelings about leaving their friends, the comforting structure of school, and their teachers. They can also be worrying about what next year will bring and how they will fit in a new classroom, with new classmates, and new teachers. 
This can be expressed in many ways. Children may seem a bit more emotional, push boundaries, or seek out your attention more than normal or in uncharacteristic ways. We see this at school, too! What children are really communicating is that they need the adults around them to provide the structure to help them continue to feel safe and to have a place to share their thoughts. This can be hard for parents, as often you may have the same concerns.
What can you do? Following are my tried and true tips to help you navigate the end-of-school feelings your child may be experiencing. 
  • Be consistent:
    • Maintain normal bedtime and wake-up routines despite the nicer weather and end-of-year events your families may be involved in.
    • Hold tight to your expectations and follow through on what you say you are going to do. 
  • Be a good listener:
    • As parents, we often feel like we need to solve everything for our children. While it is hard to watch them go through a challenge, it is important to help them be reflective and self-sufficient. Think about the questions you could ask that would allow them to plan for next steps, to practice perspective taking, and to feel competent about their ability to handle the situations that come their way. At the same time, let them know that you will always be there to provide support and follow up when needed.
    • Keep in contact with your child's teachers so they can help you as you navigate supporting your child. We are in this together!!
  • Watch what you say:
    • Liz Warrick, a parenting coach in Winchester, Massachusetts, advises to ease up on the talk about how your child's going to be a "big first-grader (SKer or JKer)" now. If they tell you they’re nervous about next year, don't brush them off by saying, "You'll be fine!" Instead, remind them of other new situations in which they were anxious and how they handled it. You could also tell your child a story of when you were nervous in a new situation and how you overcame your fears. "Kids love to hear stories about their parents," says Warrick. "They can't imagine that we ever have any trouble."
    • Reassure your child (and yourself) that the next school year will be a great opportunity for learning and connecting with both new classmates and teachers. Your children are smart cookies...when they see you anxious, they get anxious themselves! 
As always, we are here to partner with you and support you! Please do let us know if you would like to chat or think together.
Abby Aloni
Head of Early Childhood

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