As your child prepares to attend kindergarten, one thing they might struggle with is how to develop proper classroom etiquette. Some kids adapt quickly, while others may take time to get used to all the rules that their teacher has put in place.
You can give your child a head start in classroom etiquette by practising similar rules at home. Here are 5 tips that can help your child gradually adapt to kindergarten classroom sessions.
1. Get your child used to following rules
By the time your child has reached kindergarten age, they should already know how to follow basic rules. However, the classroom environment typically has more expectations that children need to learn. From staying put to treating other kids with respect, it can sometimes be overwhelming for children to adjust almost immediately.
Start by setting rules that your child should follow in their room or at the dinner table. For example, you may decide that your child shouldn't move around while eating. This is a useful rule that will help them learn how to sit still in the classroom.
Another idea is having your child spend 30–45 minutes working on a specific task. By simulating the kindergarten environment at home, your child will have an easier time adapting when the real experience comes along.
2. Use yourself as an example that your kids can follow
Children learn best from observation. You can further strengthen your intended message by also doing what you would like your child to do. For example, if you'd like them to sit still when eating, do the same so they can learn from observation. The same goes with working on a specific task without moving around unnecessarily.
3. Add visuals to your child's room
In addition to the rules that you've developed, also consider adding visual cues that your child can follow. For example, pictures of other children learning in class may motivate your child to gain interest in the kindergarten environment.
You may also develop your list of guidelines in the form of pictures and drawings that appear more attractive to your child's eyes.
4. Create a predictable routine
If your child is used to doing anything he or she wants at any time of the day, you should be prepared to change this habit well in advance of kindergarten. Consider setting a predictable timetable that closely resembles what they'll encounter at school. For example, have a fixed wake-up time, reading time, mealtime and sleeping time. Reward compliance with this timetable and don't hesitate to punish bad behaviour.
Reach out to child care and kindergarten professionals for more tips.