Your child’s very first day of school? Keep the anxiety at bay
Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 10 January 2017| 11 Rabi ul Aakir 1438
Is your child starting school? Are you finding yourself staring at your baby, wondering where the past four years have gone and how they grew up so fast?
If your little one is about to take their first step into the big wide world and start primary school, it can be particularly daunting for us parents.
How will they cope without us? What if they don’t settle in? Will they make friends? Will the teacher know what to do if they get upset?
There’s not much you can do once they’ve gone through the school gates – other than go home and cry into your morning cuppa, of course – but you can help at home to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.
Before school starts
1. Get organised
Make sure you’ve got everything they need in time for your child’s first day. Include them in decision making processes – even if it’s just choosing a lunchbox – to get them excited about starting school. Label their clothes and show them where the label is, so they can check it themselves.
2. Talk about what they can expect
Explain to your child about school rules, routines and schedules so they know what to expect. Assure them that the teacher is there to help, and that you will be there at the end of every day to talk to them. You could even tell them a bit about your own experiences at school.
3. Become familiar with the school
Take a walk to school and show them the building while it’s empty and not surrounded by people. Point out the gates, playground and where they’ll be going in on their first day.
On their first day
4. Be prepared
Ensure everything is ready the night before and leave yourself enough time in the morning to enjoy the day, rather than rushing to get out of the door. Take time to snap a picture of the school starter on their very first day as a keepsake.
5. Dealing with separation anxiety
Reassure your little one that you will be returning to pick them up in a few hours’ time to hear all about their big day, and make them aware that the teacher is there to help, if they need it.
If you’re particularly concerned about your child settling in or you know there are problems at home which may affect their behaviour, just talk to the teacher. Remember, they are professionals and are used to dealing with all types of children who are starting school. They will call if there are any problems. Try to enjoy the rest of your day – without worrying too much!
6. Home time
Make sure you’re not late when it comes to picking them up. You don’t want them to be anxious that you’re not there, and they will be excited to tell you all about their day. Set some quality time aside to have a chat about how things went, perhaps with an afternoon snack.
7. Make sure they get plenty of rest
Starting school is a big step and a huge change to a child’s routine. Ensure that you are strict with bedtimes, as you don’t want them to be tired and grumpy in the classroom the next day.
8. Stay organised
The first few weeks of school are hectic enough, so get into the habit of preparing everything you need the night before. Young children don’t have a great sense of urgency, so getting them up in time to get them ready – without having to panic and rush them out of the house – will help things run more smoothly..
9. Let them make friends
Children build relationships naturally, so let this process happen. Organise ‘play dates’, but don’t try to force him or her to be friends with someone they don’t naturally bond with.
10. Keep talking
Set some time aside each day to ask about how school is going. Keep your questions simple and try to build up a good picture of what life at school is like, and if they are happy with it. Ensure they know to talk to a teacher if something is making them unhappy in class.
Source – Mirror.co.uk