Health and wellbeing at primary school
You can help support your child’s health and wellbeing as they start Kindergarten and move through primary school.
Face your child’s feelings
Whether your child has attended preschool or is starting primary school for the first time, they may experience difficulty settling into school routines.
Your child may be feeling:
excited or happy about starting school
nervous or anxious due to new routines
frustrated or annoyed about all the changes.
Talk with your child
Check in with your child before, and particularly after, school.
What was the best part of your day?
What did you learn?
Who did you help today?
Communicate with comfort and connection. Be relaxed in your facial expression and body. Get down to your child’s level and offer gentle touch or affection. For example:
“I know Kindy is different from preschool. We have to go to school. Let’s sit together and figure out how to make this easier.”
Validate and relate to your child’s feelings. Consider how they’re experiencing the situation from their point of view.
Discuss and set limits. Wishes and feelings are acceptable, but some behaviours are not. It is important to remain calm, clear and assertive.
“I hear you want to play more. It is important that you get a good night’s sleep before school. It is bedtime.”
“I can see you are frustrated but it is not okay to yell or hit.”
Notice and address any physical, behavioural or emotional changes. Some reactions to stress include tiredness, struggling to fall asleep, boredom, feeling irritable or acting out, being withdrawn or avoiding school and homework, complaints of an upset stomach or headache, excessively asking questions, or seeking reassurance. Always share any concerns with your child’s teacher.
Create routines at home
Make sure your child is getting a good night’s sleep and at least 30 minutes of daily exercise.
Cook nutritious meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner and make sure your child is eating regularly.
Encourage your child to stay hydrated, even in the colder months.
Read to your child as part of your daily routine.
Kindergarten children can get very tired at night because they are doing so many new and exciting things. For this reason, it helps to keep before and after school routines – like bath time, meals and reading – as regular as possible. It’s also important to leave time for your child to play and get a good night’s sleep each night.