Parents experience a wide range of emotions when sending their child off to school for the first time. This milestone is a time of great excitement and joy, but starting school can also be full of anxiety and apprehension for both parent and child. Here are some tips for an easy transition into your child’s first year of school.
Put on a happy face: You may be feeling sad and nervous about sending your baby “out in to the world” It is important that your mood comes across as upbeat and calm. Children can sense if you are worried or nervous and will often mimic this behavior.
Be organized: Alleviate stress by not having to rush on school mornings. The night before let your child help you choose their clothes, snack, and lunch options. This builds self-confidence. Also try to get in a bedtime routine the week or so before school starts.
Practice makes perfect: Use pretend play by acting out various activities that take place at school. These could include saying good-bye, playing with classmates, taking turns being the teacher, eating snack, cleaning up toys, and pick-up. Role-playing these different activities will increase their comfort level and understanding of school.
Communication is key: The more your child knows about the experience ahead, the easier it will be. Children will often have many questions, sometimes asking the same ones multiple times. Have patience and give them calming reassurance. There are also a wide variety of books to read to your child, including titles such as The Kissing Hand, Will I Have a Friend?,First Day of School, It’s Time For Preschool, When I Miss You, and Take a Kiss to School.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful to you. On Monday, August 15, you will have the opportunity to meet your child’s teachers at the Pre-conference. This will be a beneficial time for you to talk to them one-on-one about your little one. You can share your hopes as well as any concerns you may have for the upcoming school year.