Interview with Bruna Profaca, PhD who gave an advice to parents of first graders on how to help child to start school without the stress was published on T portal on 1 September 2018 under the title:”Psychologist advises how to prepare a child for school: Most children will experience great stress if adults put pressure on them”, written by a journalist Elma Katana:
“Readiness for the school is not a separate skill, but a combination of overall developmental maturity, characteristics and skills of the child that facilitate adaptation to new circumstances and a specific way of learning, says Bruna Profaca, PhD from the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb.
In early childhood, the child’s learning is primarily spontaneous, then under the conditions of organized pre-school education a combination of spontaneous and reactive learning, whereas at the beginning of school, the child’s maturity is changing: it can respond to new ways of learning and adapt to the tasks ahead or set it up. With physical characteristics, cognitive, social and emotional maturity, language and communication skills, ability to solve problems and creative thinking, and general knowledge of the world in which a child grows is important. Of course, one needs to recognize individual differences and keep in mind that every child has their stronger and weaker side”, she says.
The importance of parental support in all aspects of development
Pressure on preparing for the school, she adds, may be troubling many parents.
‘Does my child know letters?’, ‘Does she speak English?’, ‘Can he sit for a long time?’ – all these questions are asked by parents. However, this is not ‘exercise’, ‘teaching’, ‘preparation’ or intense development of a particular skill. Today every three-year-old knows that s/he will ‘go to school once’ and is focusing on the next stage of development with a competent or older peer and an adult, as a part of growing up. A child lives in society and spontaneously learns about the future: they will learn to drive a bike without auxiliary wheels, one will know how to swim, grow up, know to write, and go to school after the sixth birthday. Children see others around, in the family and in the kindergarten. they know that their parents and other adults, as well as brothers, sisters, went to school and that the school is a place of learning and a part of life. It is important that a child has support in all aspects of development and important age-related information from adults to grow in conditions that are conducive to the development of social skills and emotional maturity and develops relationships that will feel safe. Unless there are specific difficulties in some area of development, there is no need to talk about targeted preparation for the school – it is part of the overall development path, explains Mrs. Profaca.
Recommendations for parents of first graders
- Speak to a child about school as a place of learning and living with children and teachers.
- Do not build the image of an ideal teacher, but a real person who helps and cares for the child.
- Do not scare your child into school, help him develop positive attitudes towards school and teachers.
- Get your school supplies with your child, try to create a cozy atmosphere. Before the first grade, write the name on the notebook together, design with the child’s working space.
- Show your pride, tell your child that you have confidence in his abilities and that you are with him if he needs help. Discuss in what ways he can ask for help from you, who still can help them when they does not understand something or have problems. Do not teach with a child, but be helpful if your help is needed. From the first day of school, it is his place and his life. Enjoy with the child, and not instead of the child.
- Talk to your child about all the everyday changes that follow and how they will be adjusted to them: changing rhythms and habits, going to school, self-reliance … You can pre-play some situations, let the child in front of you lead in activities such as unlocking the door, how to cross the road, how to ask for help … Make arrangements together.
- Practice with your child a way to school, introduce him to people who will worry about him during your absence. Make sure your child knows important information: your home address, your phone numbers, where you work, and more.
- Be your child’s support not only in the early days but also later. In addition to being asource of security, you may need to protect yourself from some situations in relationships with children and adults. Let child know that you are the person to whom s/he will turn to help if things go wrong.
- Try to evaluate less, do not tell your child that s/he not working well and that s/he can be better. Every child, especially younger, is doing the best he can. Imagine how you’d feel if after each completed task someone says that to you that you can certainly co better …
‘It is important that you don’t talk about the school as a place where childhood ends and obligations begin, and the place where the child is constantly evaluated. It is important not to talk that will get ‘only A as the wisest’ or that it will ‘see how it is when you get a D”. Creating pressure about future success gives the message that the child depends on what his ratings are. Also, it is not good to confuse the child with fears and authority of adults, which s/he does not yet know. Despite your good intentions, the child’s achievement in school does not need to connect in advance with rewards and punishments. The school is, like all other situations, only a part of life. And not the most important. So, generally speaking, as usual in communicating with children, it is desirable to hear and follow the pace, feelings and level of curiosity in the child, with the least possible strain on their own expectations, exaggerated idealization or his/her own fears of going to school”, says psychologist .
Read the full text(on Croatian language) on the T portal at the link https://www.tportal.hr/lifestyle/clanak/psihologinja-savjetuje-kako-pripremiti-dijete-za-skolu-vecina-djece-nece-dozivjeti-veliki-stres-ako-odrasli-ne-vrse-pritisak-na-njih-20180901?utm_source=facebooktportal&utm_medium=fanpagetportal&utm_campaign=facebookshare