Here is the clip from Global Morning News, August 13, 2012):
School is coming up in just a few weeks so it’s a great time to get your young children ready for the schoolyard.
The schoolyard can be very scary for young children. All of a sudden they’re out in this new area with a bunch of kids they don’t know and they’re just expected to play and make friends. That’s easy for some, painful for others.
Go hang out at the schoolyard with your children in the weeks leading up to school and do some role playing. It’s one thing to tell a child how to make friends, but it’s much more effective to show them. Pretend you’re one of their classmates and act out all different scenarios they may come across. This is fun PLUS great social practice for them.
This is especially effective in teaching them how to deal with bullies. Bullies need a reaction so without one they’re likely to move onto their next victim. If enough kids learn how to treat bullying with indifference bullies will run out of victims and steam. Of course if bullying gets physical or past that first initial stage, then encourage your child to report it to a teacher. If it’s addressed early enough it never gets a chance to gain momentum. Too many kids report bullying too late making it much harder to deal with. But … they can’t go reporting every single little thing they don’t like. The teachers will teach them when and when not to report bullying.
Be positive when preparing your child for the schoolyard. Plan for the worst but hope for the best. You can help them get started by role playing but ultimately they will find their own way through the school social scene. This may also help you cut those apron strings just a bit by knowing you’ve done all you can to prepare them for school.
And don’t do anything stupid like driving back to school during recess, parking your car down the road, then walking to the school and hiding behind the bushes to spy on your darling little baby to make sure he/she is okay. I mean, who would do anything that ridiculous??? ………………. yeah ………………. it was me. Not one of my finer moments, especially when one of the teachers came up behind me and caught me spying. Oh well, who said there was dignity in parenting, certainly not me.
Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach