A child’s first experience with school can be overwhelming. Parents often feel as though they have hit a wall when it comes to helping their child adjust to the new environment and manage the many changes that come along with starting school. Kindergarten is a time of change for most children, but some kids adjust better than others.
If your child doesn’t seem excited about going to school or seems overwhelmed by the pace and schedule, he may have an adjustment issue. These situations can prompt a temper tantrum in elementary-aged children. These outbursts can feel alienating for parents as well as classmates and can lead to other stressors in a child’s life. Here are 5 tips for Kindergarten parents on how to deal with temper tantrums:
Tips for Kindergarten Parents on How to Deal With Temper Tantrums
1. Don’t take your child’s tantrum personally.
It’s probably no surprise that many parents take issue with their child’s temper tantrums. Kids are developmentally primed to expect rejection and are often frustrated and confused by the way adults respond to their feelings. It can feel frustrating for parents to witness this and can lead to feelings of frustration and helplessness. Instead of taking your child’s tantrum personally, try to view it from your child’s perspective.
Your child may be frustrated with the pace of school, the noise, the routine, or the fact that she has to leave the familiar confines of home for the first time. If you can try to understand and empathize with your child’s feelings, you’ll be less likely to take his outburst personally, and more likely to provide the support and help she needs.
2. Be consistent in your rules and expectations.
You can’t expect your child to adapt to a new school environment if she isn’t clear on the rules and expectations of her school. If she’s excited to attend school, she’ll be much more likely to behave. It’s best to begin the transition to school with a parent-child “homework session.”
Discuss the rules of the school, the expectations of your child’s behavior in school, and any adjustments she’ll need to make to be successful in school. If you’re going to send your child to school without being sure that you understand the expectations you’re setting, you might as well bring the conversation to an end now.
3. Be a role model for calmness and patience.
You can help your child learn to manage her emotions by showing her how to calm herself. If your child is having a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store and yelling at the cashier, try to be calm presence. If your child is upset and screaming, don’t respond with anger, try to ignore the situation, give your child a hug, or take a few deep breaths. Your child will be much more likely to follow this advice if she’s seen her parents calmly handling difficult situations.
4. Celebrate small successes and motivate through praise.
If your child is trying to make the transition to school, be sure to acknowledge and celebrate small successes. For example, if your child is improving her math skills, be sure to praise her for this. This will help your child feel successful and will encourage her to continue to try hard and work hard.
If your child has been able to make it through a day without a tantrum, celebrate this with your child. This will help her to see that even small successes are worth celebrating. If your child has been able to make it through a day without getting into trouble at school, praise her. This will help your child to see that even small successes are worth celebrating.
5. Stay involved in your child’s education.
Many experts believe in the importance of parents staying engaged in their child’s education once they’re in elementary school. While it may be intimidating or stressful to make sure that your child is staying on track in school, it’s important to establish a routine in advance. When you have a routine in place, you’ll have a better idea of how to support your child and make sure she has the resources she needs to succeed.
Tantrums are a common part of childhood and are often related to the transition from being a child in the home to being a member of the school community. With the right help and support, a child can learn to better manage her emotions and other challenges that come with starting school.
As part of the transition, your child may experience stress, anxiety, and even feelings of sadness and nervousness. These feelings are normal and part of the adjustment to a new environment, and are often experienced more strongly in boys than girls. If your child is having a tantrum, try to remember that these outbursts are often related to the transition to school. Help your child find some positive ways to deal with these feelings and transition to a new way of life.