Anxiety on the first day of school is normal. However, there are lots of things you can do to help your child through the first day (or weeks) of school and make it as happy and smooth as possible.
– Be mindful of your own emotions and language – children are excellent at picking up on their parent’s worries and concerns, if you are confident and happy about the first day, it will help your child to be as well. If you are anxious and worried, your child will notice and think there is something to be concerned about.
– Speak about what is going to happen, how exciting it is, and how you can’t wait to hear about school each day. Start this a few weeks before school starts.
– Try uniforms and new shoes on before school starts, put them on to show family and friends, make your child feel special and excited about their items, so that it is familiar for them on the first day.
– Practice independence, that means: putting shoes on by themselves, opening lunch boxes and closing them, using school bags (putting things in and out) and any other key task that is age-appropriate.
– If you are dropping them off at the classroom, say a friendly and quick ”goodbye, I will see you later” and then leave. It might be hard and cause more tears the first day but trust me, it will pay off in the long run.
– Communicate with your child’s teacher openly and honestly. This is crucial. Tell them if your child is anxious, about any issues or concerns and most importantly, trust their advice.
– Visit the classroom and school before the first day if possible, make sure the space is familiar so that there are no big shocks on day one.
– Get excited by choosing a new bag, lunch box and drink bottle from Mumzworld for the new year.
– Reassure your child with love and a bit of extra attention in the days leading up to school.
– Be brave, I know it’s hard as a parent to watch your child have a tough day at school, but they will be okay. Grab a friend and go for coffee, get a massage or take some ‘me’ time to look after yourself too.