Everyone has had many experiences of the new before it becomes the norm. We’re all going through that experience now with the start of the new kindy year. Even for children who are familiar with walking through the front gate, there are still many new things to adjust to. Maybe it’s a new room, new teaching team, new children, new expectations.
Everybody handles these new experiences differently and feel a range of emotions which change over time. Everyone is familiar with the feeling of having butterflies in your tummy which could be a combination of being both a little excited and a little scared. Many children have or are going through these feelings right now as they get to know what to do at kindy. It’s interesting to note that some of the physical symptoms of excitement are identical to those for anxiety. A simple re-branding the feeling may help to settle the butterflies.
Some children may be having their familiar ways of interacting with others challenged. A child who likes the role of ‘the boss’ could be adjusting to others not going along with his/her idea and having to compromise and listen to others.
Managing when something doesn’t go as planned, particularly if it happens more than once in the day can be tricky. Although many parts of the day can be fun at kindy, sometimes it’s hard!
For a child who is used to someone else doing ‘the jobs’ (unpacking belongings, opening lunchboxes, sorting rubbish, packing away) experiencing that everyone is learning to complete jobs independently and help each other many times during the day, can be a shock.
Adjusting to being 1 of 22 and that all 22 are special, brings its own joys and challenges. Having to wait to be responded to and doing more listening than talking can be tough. Sharing the tea-pot and learning to be fair with others takes practise.
Seeing others climb the high A-frame, tree or monkey bars when you might feel it is way too scary, is all okay. One day you might feel brave enough to try with the support of one of the teachers.
For some children, the new become the norm very quickly. Already, many children can complete the unpacking tasks without prompts. For others, time, practice, patience, bravery, clear expectations or a combination of all may be required before the new becomes the norm.