books to start kindergarten

Before I Go to Kindergarten #6: Young Children and Separation Anxiety

Will your child be “leaving the nest” for playschool, preschool, daycare, or kindergarten? Young children and separation anxiety can be an issue.young children and separation anxiety

Concerns about being on their own is quite normal in young children and varies greatly. Most toddlers and preschoolers can handle being separated from parents and caregivers for short, planned stretches of time. They may not like it but they can cope with the situation. Every year, though, there are some children who find this a big deal.

young children and separation anxiety

For kids with a minor concern about saying goodbye practice can help. You may be able to find a community activity such as a library story hour or recreation program where your child can be without you. Many areas have swimming, gymnastics, skating, or other sports where kids are in a small group with an unfamiliar adult. After a few sessions, kids will develop a connection with the instructor and the other kids and be more comfortable and confident.

busted button wings

If the level of separation anxiety is more serious, you may want to talk about the issue with a professional, such as your family doctor, a school counselor, or family therapist. One in four children can suffer from anxiety so you are not alone. It really helps to deal with the issue as early as possible.

the kissing hand separation anxiety in kidsBooks and stories can be helpful too. For more than two decades, families have been reading and loving The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Mrs. Raccoon gives Chester Raccoon a kiss on his hand that he can press to his cheek whenever he’s lonely. The kiss will fill him with warm thoughts. The illustrations and gentle colors are comforting visually.

llLlama Llama Misses Mama and sheds a few tears in Anna Dewdney’s book. After being reassured it’s okay to miss Mama, Llama also has fun playing with the toys and other animals. These are just two stories for young children and separation anxiety, there are dozens more.

Learning is so much more than just academics. It’s also confidence, independence, and dealing with all kinds of emotions. For kids, parents are the safety net, or maybe that should be safety nest? Is your child ready to try out wings?

(For the rest of the poster, visit the Before I Go to Kindergarten post.)

P.S. The sad news about Anna Dewdney’s passing leaves Llama Llama and all of us missing her. Condolences to her family. In lieu of a funeral, she requested we read a story to a child.

Books to Help Your Child Get Ready To Start Kindergarten

Series Part #3: Books to Help Start Kindergarten

No matter if your child is starting kindergarten this year or not, there are some wonderful stories to help your child start kindergarten. Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, the Berenstain Bears, Franklin, Pete the Cat and other well-known characters have stories about this adventure. Some parents may remember the Sesame Street one called Grover Goes To School. There are dozens more new ones that talk about the same thing: going to kindergarten.

books for starting kindergartenNot all children like the same kind of story, so it’s a good thing there are so many different books. Several have animals as the characters instead of people. Some use a rhyming text and others use conversations, or questions and answers. One book that I quite like, On The Way To Kindergarten, by Virginia Kroll and Elizabeth Schlossberg, includes what children were like at different ages and stages. The story reminds kids that every year they knew how to do different things than the year before and that kindergarten is both a new adventure and part of the process of growing up.

The story, The Kissing Hand, written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth Harper and Nancy Leak, has wonderful soft pictures of an anxious little raccoon who would rather stay at home. Mother Raccoon shares a special kiss that helps Chester. Of course, because raccoons are nocturnal, Chester goes to school at night and stays home in the day, but his solution can help human kids too, and mommies and daddies that will miss their little ones.

hleping kids start kindergartenBookstores will have lots of stories, but many libraries will have a selection that you can borrow instead of buying. Preschools and daycares may have some that families can take home for a night or two as well. Plus, using stuffies or figurines at home, you and your child can make up stories. How about The Dinosaur Goes To Kindergarten? Here is a YouTube video of The Kissing Hand. Do you have other book suggestions?