The first day of school can be looked forward to as an awesome event for both children and parents. There will be many opportunities to learn more about the school day, but here are a few suggestions to help make your child’s first days easier and happier.
- Be brief when you are explaining to your child that she/he is to enter school. It is possible to awe her/him with elaborate descriptions. Very often, it is best not to discuss it too far in advance of his/her first day.
- Try to plan your early morning so that your child does not feel he/she is being rushed off. In spite of the excitement, you may feel, try to be casual with your child. That way, you won’t add to any confusion that might already exist in his/her mind.
- When you reach school, the teacher will greet you both, just outside or inside the classroom door. Allow your youngster to investigate her/his new surroundings at her/his own pace. She/he may prefer to stay by your side or sit in your lap. Bear in mind that this is a big adventure for her/him. In no way must she/h feel forced to join the others or start an activity.
- If your child cannot easily release you, feel free to stay with him/her. Be understanding and patient. Gently encourage him/her forward, but remain in the background. Eventually, he/she will feel secure enough to allow you to leave. It is usually best not to ask your child if it is all right for you to go, or to linger or hesitate once you do decide to leave. Often, having a special “see you later” signal (e.g. a butterfly kiss, high five, kiss on the hand, secret wink), to be shared only by you and your child just before you leave helps ease the transition. Whatever you choose, be matter of fact.
- Share any information about changes in your child’s life or routines with her/his teachers. Anything that affects your child’s outlook will show itself in school and your child may not have the words to express her/himself.
You need not worry about any of your child’s reactions or lack of reaction. Neither you nor your child will be judged or labeled by any of these. Let’s all work together to provide both you and your child with a pleasant experience.