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chloepo
chloepo asks:
Q:

Are irratibility and mood swings common the week before kindergarden starts?

my 5yr girl has been crying at the drop of a hat then can turn around and profess her love to her little sister and brother?

Question asked after reading: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_...
In Topics: Back to school, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BarbK
Aug 18, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

To answer your question, yes it can be common for a child's behavior to be irrational before starting Kindergarden, especially if she is the first one to go.  The article What Your Child Should Know and Be Able To Do Upon Entering Kindergarten offers a checklist of tasks and skills to guide parents in preparing their children for school.  There are a few things you can do to help ease your daughter anxiety, which might help improve her behavior and get her emotionally ready.

1.  Explain what will happen, especially on that first day. You'll wake her up,  make her favorite breakfast, pack her favorite lunch, take her to school, etc.

2.  Assure her that you will be there when the day is over.  Explain that you will be waiting for her at dismissal.  And tell her you can't wait to hear all about her first day - her teacher, new friends, activities, etc.

3.  Gather all of her supplies and lay out her first day outfit.  You don't want to rush around the morning of the first day looking for things and telling her to find her clothes.  If the school wears uniforms, allow her to pick out her accessories such as headbands or bracelets.  

4.  Attend her schools before school social, if they have one.  This will give her a chance to see the school grounds/layout and meet her teacher.  Look at the class list to see if any of her friends are in her class.  If not, try meeting some other parents who look like they have nice children and maybe even arrange a play date before school starts.  It is always nice to see a friend when you start something new.

5.  Read books about starting school or along the theme of the first day of school.  One of my favorites is the Kissing Hand, by Audery Penn.  Ask the librarian at your local public library for other suggestions as well.

These are just a few ideas to get you going.  I'm sure once she gets there she will be fine.  In the meantime, don't let her get away with her poor behavior (when it happens) - you don't want it to become a habit.

Good luck!

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Additional Answers (2)

socialworker
socialworker writes:
Absolutely. Your child is likely feeling anxious about kindergarten. You might want to try reading "Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows: Helping Children Adjust to Change" with your child.The story centers on Harry,a caterpillar that has a fantastic life full of games, friends, school and leaf eating. He is stunned when, one day at caterpillar school, he learns that he is expected to  build a chrysalis and become a butterfly. Harry vows to remain a caterpillar forever, as his friends build their chrysalises and move on.  Eventually, Harry  learns to accept change as a necessary part of life, and  joins his friends as a butterfly. There are tips in the back of the book to help parents and educators use the story as a vehicle to help kids talk about their feelings about change, and teach them coping strategies to manage their anxiety.
> 60 days ago

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Marebear
Marebear , Student writes:
it could be common. Maybe your daughter is scared and doesn't know how to express it. Try to spend some time with her before school starts, but tell her that school is fun! I really hope this helps you
> 60 days ago

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