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How do I prepare my son for kindergarten when he is so attached to me?
Q: My son is 5 and will be starting kindergarten this fall. He is very attached to me. How do I help him with getting ready for school?
A: By fall he may be ready on his own. In the meantime, you can arrange for him to visit friends or cousins for brief periods while you run some errands. Or invite a couple of friends over with children of similar ages and encourage them to play with one another while the grown-ups talk. If the other children play happily and he clings to you, don’t make a big deal out of it. Think of ways to get him involved with the other kids— refreshments (which he can help serve), getting out one of his special toys which presumably only he knows how to work and must demonstrate to the others, etc. Short separations such as attendance at Sunday School classes or “Mother’s Day Out” at the Y (if you have one in Yukon) will also help him experience being briefly on his own.

In the spring your school will probably schedule an open house for incoming kindergarten children and their parents. Be sure to take him to that event. There he will see the other children happily working and playing with one another—a powerful antidote to any anxiety he might have. Finally, when enrollment time comes in the fall, be very matter of fact about things. Make sure that anxiety of your own doesn’t spill over on him.