The school year is almost over, but my six-year-old daughter still seems to be struggling with the transition to all-day school. She cries almost every day and isn’t able to cope with small disappointments, like not being first in line. I’m afraid this will get even worse over the summer and she’ll be starting grade two at a disadvantage. What’s going on? Can I do anything to help her?


Grade one is a huge change from kindergarten. Not only is school more demanding academically, there’s more structure. Talk to your daughter about each incident and try to understand what she’s feeling and what’s causing her frustration. To help reassure her, give her a special necklace or bracelet to wear to remind her that you are thinking of her; it might help her feel more settled and better able to manage disappointments throughout the day. Offer her alternate ways of handling the situation. You can also ask the teacher to help your daughter using similar methods.

It’s also a good idea to provide your daughter with opportunities to see her classmates outside of school. This will strengthen her relationships with them and help make school a less daunting place.

Written by Dr Ruwa Sabbagh. Originally published in Today’s Parent, June 2009.

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