The first day of school can be an exciting time. It can also be an incredibly stressful time if you or your child aren’t quite ready for that first day at kindergarten. Since this may one of the first times your child will be away from your guidance, your child is about to get a crash course in independence. No matter what reading, writing, or arithmetic skills you’ve equipped your child with, before you send them off on their own to the big world outside, you should make their safety a priority. By discussing with your child important safety principles and their own independent kindergarten ideas, you can make sure your child’s first year is a safe and happy one.
Whether your child is riding the bus, walking to school, or riding with a neighbor, transportation to and from school introduces the biggest safety risks your child will face during the day. When you are getting your child ready for kindergarten discuss with them the different challenges they will face. Remind them of your home address, your street name, and what bus stop they will be taking. Discuss with them the proper ways to safely cross the street and board the bus. Teach your child what to do in case they are separated from you or their bus. Teach them your phone number and any emergency phone numbers. Also, let them know any safe houses in the neighborhood, in case they ever come home to an empty house.
Dealing with Strangers
Another important safety tip for the first day at kindergarten is how to talk to strangers. No doubt you have already encouraged your child to avoid talking to and wandering off with strangers. However, as they enter school for the first time, they will be encountering and interacting with a number of people they don’t know. Talk with them about the difference between the teachers in the school and strangers they encounter in the park. Teach them to identify and recognize the teachers and adults who work in their school and to listen to their teacher’s instructions. Use this time as an opportunity to distinguish between adults they should look to for help and those they should avoid.
When you’re getting your child ready for kindergarten remember, the first day at kindergarten should be an exciting, not terrifying time. Encourage their independence and growth while keeping them safe from unnecessary risks and dangerous situations. With the right preparation, they should come to love going to school and growing into strong and independent young men and women.