Next week will be the first day of school for thousands of new students.
And while the day and the lead up can be scary for the children, it’s often even scarier for the parents!
Worrying about how they’ll handle the new environment, if they’ll make friends, if their teacher will like them and a myriad of other variables can be anxiety inducing for any mum or dad.
But Julia Alexander of The Huffington Post has offered a few practical and helpful tips to try to make the transition a lot easier for you, which will help to make it easier for them.
So, when preparing yourself for the first day of school, consider the following principles:
1. Don’t make the lunch you wish they should eat…
Make the one they will eat.
Don’t be concerned with how your lunch will compare to the other kid’s lunches.
And don’t worry about sending them off with something that others would approve of.
Just focus on providing something that your child will eat, and will keep them going throughout the day.
If that happens to be something slightly unhealthy, then that’s what will work best.
Giving them wholly nutritious food that they won’t eat is not preferable to a nutella sandwich that they will eat.
The first day should be about making them as comfortable as possible, and familiar food will help to do that.
2. Don’t dress to impress.
The morning will be more rushed than usual, and keeping the process efficient and on time is the priority.
You need to be focussing on getting your child dressed and ready for the whole day, so your outfit is at the bottom of the to-do list.
Dress so that you’ll be comfortable enough to deal with whatever challenges the morning throws at you.
3. Don’t worry about who you know.
Don’t put all your hopes into your child being in the same class as someone they already know.
School is a time to make new friends, and after school can be a time to get together with the old ones.
You won’t be the only parent hoping that your child makes it into the same class as someone else, so don’t pin your hopes on it.
Sometimes it can be better to be thrown into the deep end without a safety net (that is, a new environment with no one you know).
4. Don’t worry about what they know.
School readiness is something that can cause a lot of anxiety for parents, and can be tested in advance.
But by the first day of school comes around, there’s no going back!
You’ve decided your child is ready to start school, and they most probably are.
There’s no expectation of knowledge that you don’t know about, and at the end of the day they are there to learn — not because they already have.
Trust in your child and in the education system, that’s what it’s there for!
And an important tip from us:
Prepare the day before to make sure the send-off goes as soon as possible.
Have breakfast planned and ready, the school bag packed, and their uniforms laid out.
A calm and organised morning will set the tone for the day, and will help to send your child off to school in high spirits and with confidence.
And the less morning stress you have, the more you will be able to enjoy this new and exciting development in your child’s life.
So enjoy it! Because the first day of school only happens once.