It’s normal for parents to feel (sometimes more than a little bit) anxious when the time comes for their child’s first day at school. Starting school means new routines, a new schedule, more time apart and harder work. However, with a little planning, you can be prepared to take their first day in your stride.
Follow these five tips to make their first day at school a success:
When you show excitement over the first day at school, your child is bound to look forward to it as well. Create a countdown for them. Start one to two weeks before the big day, or the anticipation could be overwhelming and make them nervous. Focus on one aspect of school each day, like shopping for school snacks one day and buying their uniform the next. This gives them something to look forward to each day until the first day at school. Build the anticipation, and they won’t be able to wait for their first day.
Attend the Open Days
Many schools have an open day before school starts, and it can put both you and your child’s mind at ease. It’s a chance for your child to meet their teacher, see their classroom and help reduce any anxiety they may be having. Your little one will be able to warm up to the new environment before their first day, and your mind will be put at ease after you’ve met their teacher and had a chance to ask any questions you may have.
Get Organised the Night Before
Prepare everything you’ll need for the first day at school the night before — pack lunches and bags, lay out their uniform and prep the family’s breakfast, if necessary. With all the chores out of the way, you can have a stress-free morning that can be enjoyed. When it comes to the first day at school, make sure you leave some time in for fun things like taking pictures in front of the school. Instead of scrambling to complete a long to-do list, your child can enjoy getting ready for school and you’ll be relieved to send them off on the right foot.
Add a Little Lunchbox Love
Send a little lunchbox note to let your child know you are thinking about them. This is a great pick-me-up for your child in the middle of the day, especially if they’re missing you. Write a few words of encouragement or draw a silly picture to put a smile on their face. If the first day at school is only a half-day, put a note in their pocket to read when they need a little encouragement.
Let Your Child Lead the Way
Let your child make the first impression with their teachers. While there’s surely paperwork to fill out about them, your own first day anxiety and concerns may transfer to your child, limiting their ability to lead the way. Instead, give your child a hug and send them off for their first day. Let your child present themselves how they want to be seen to their teacher and classmates. This allows them to be in charge of how they’re perceived, and the teacher will be able to see your child through their own eyes, touching base with you when things come up.