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106 E. Church St.
Orlando, FL 32801


Weekday School is a Christian preschool serving children ages 2 1/2 to 5 years.  Our school is known for its committed teaching staff, play-based learning environment, and personalized focus on each child. Small class sizes and a strong network of parent volunteers ensure that the Weekday School is an ideal place for young children to grow and learn.




tune into temperament | august 2019

Vicki Rutledge

Tips for the new school year

Every child is born with his own way of approaching the world, known as “temperament.” A child’s approach to new situations and unfamiliar people is a very important temperament characteristic. The fact is that some children are naturally more comfortable in new situations and jump right in, whereas others are more cautious and need time and support from caring adults to feel safe in unfamiliar situations.

What have you observed about your child’s reaction to new people? Slow to warm up or came out of the womb waving? How does your child react to change? Does your child prefer to keep things the same? Or does your child take changes in stride?

Keep in mind, there is no “wrong” or “right” when it comes to temperament. Temperament is the unique wiring of each individual’s nervous system. It’s not something your child chooses, it’s biological. Understanding and supporting your child’s natural temperament is a critical parenting skill to help your child thrive. Here are some temperament-specific tips to support your child at the start of a new school year.

Reaction to Change

“Thrives on routine”

  • Prepare for school by talking about it in advance

  • Develop a goodbye routine

  • Expect to support your child at Meet the Teacher as they ease in. Remain calm if your child is clingy.

  • Plan to arrive early enough to allow your child time to get comfortable.

  • Accept your child’s feelings and offer support, “It’s okay to feel nervous when you do something new. I’m here to help you.”

“Goes with the flow”

  • Prepare for school by talking about it in advance

  • Develop a goodbye routine

  • Watch for signs that your child needs extra assurances from you. A new school year brings lots of change that even “go with the flow” children will need time to adjust to.

Reaction to New People

“Takes time to warm up”

  • Think of yourself as a safe home base. Introduce the child to new people from the safety of your arms. Place her on your lap near another child and talk about what the other child is doing in a soothing, reassuring voice. Communicate positive feelings toward others nonverbally. Use your facial expressions and body language. Children look to you for cues.

  • Engage in side-by-side play close to another child and make suggestions if needed to give some structure. For example, place a block out and ask your child if they want to stack one on top. 

  • Avoid labels. Telling someone who is slow to warm up to “try not to be so shy” is like saying, “Try not to be yourself.”

“Glad to meet you”

  • Provide social coaching. Even the most sociable child will sometimes need help resolving an argument or soothing hurt feelings. Watch for well-intended over-enthusiasm. Sometimes, children get so excited to be with their friends that they can knock another child over during a hug or even bite another child. Help your child learn to express their excitement in acceptable ways.

  • Teach your child about the feelings of others. For example, “Kayla is feeling sad because you took her toy car. Please give Kayla back her car and then you choose another one to play with.”

  • Encourage your child to play independently. Social children also need to learn how to be on their own. A set time of “playing quietly in your room” helps a child practice this skill.