Preparing your child for their first day at school
The first day of school is a huge milestone for you and your child and it is a day you will remember forever. To make it as easy as possible on you and your little one we have put together a few things that we have found really helpful to prepare your kiddie for their first day of big school.
Practice before the big day- Starting school is the start of new found independence for your child and you it is great if they are as prepared as possible for doing tasks alone. Simple things like opening and closing drinks bottles, fastening zips, and fixing their uniform back properly after using the toilet. Most schools will ask that you send in a change of clothes for your child in case of any accidents and your child should be well rehearsed in using the loo and basic hygiene afterwards like washing their hands.
To help your child do a practice run at home, try on the uniform, and fill up their lunch box and allow them to attempt do the things you won’t be able to help them with once they are at school.
Talk to your child about school- Before they make this giant leap in their life they need to be prepared for being alone and not having their parents to rely on. If your child is shy will he/she be able to ask for help? Or ask can they go to the toilet? They may be scared those first few days so it is important that they know to ask their teacher for help and that they is there to look after them in your absence. It may take time for your child to fully trust their teacher or it may take five minutes, all children are different.
Expect the unexpected- If your eldest went to school and motored in without any tears that sadly doesn’t mean that their younger sibling will start school on the right foot. Even if your child seems confident and happy to be going to school, they may take a dislike on the actual day and may be frightened. It is one thing to tell them they are going to school but quite another when the day is finally here and panic sets in.
Have a chat about friends- Most children now a days will have done at least one year pre-school and this is a huge benefit for them as they are not totally novices at making friends. However school is more structured and socialising will be mostly done at break times, so teach your kid about etiquette in the yard and how to be kind to their classmates. Encourage them to play nicely with others, if it is possible start having their new friends over to your house to get to know your child’s friends and their parents.
First day dramas- The first day will fly in and in some cases there may be tears or tantrums, for others they will saunter in without a second thought. Accompany your child into their class and let them find a seat, be encouraging and excited about this new experience and avoid getting emotional till you leave them (it’s hard we know but they will pick up on your emotions). Don’t linger too long and remind your child you will be back soon, if they are teary or upset it may take longer for you to leave but persevere and leave. Teachers are well used to some children being more upset then others and will take the nervous ones under their wing and you can both have a chat later in the week about your child’s stressful start to school. Usually it all calms down within and few days, and it will get better eventually so try not to let it upset you.
Soon enough they will love school and have lots of friends to play with and you can rest assured that they are doing ok. Kids grow so fast and this is just another mountain to climb in their life, and it will be fine.
Best of luck to you and your little ones.
Written by Emma, staff writer at www.familyfriendlyhq.ie