Many children today start ‘big school’ between the age of four and six. It all depends on the child and how school ready and confident they are. Although skills such as putting on a coat, jumper or shoes are important they are not essential for a child to do perfectly or at all. There are other tasks that are probably more important to boost your child’s self-esteem such as self-care, going to the bathroom by themselves, and the ability to interact with their peers and make friends which will help them settle into their new routine.
Don’t panic about your child starting school as the first half of junior infants is primarily a settling in period to support the children to adjust and get used to the routine, to be more self-sufficient and to become familiar with the dynamics of the school. All children get there in the end but as parents and carers, there are some easy steps that we can do to promote independence and self-care.
Very few of us like change, especially children, as they are creatures of habit and routine. However, if we include them in the discussion first and asked how they feel we are less likely to receive resistance. Try having a little chat with your child. Explain that they are becoming a big boy or girl, and ask them do they think they would be ready to do some big boy or girl jobs. It also helps if you can call upon a peer like and older sibling or cousin that your child admires to help you encourage positive behavio