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Do you remember your first day at school? Leaving the familiarity of the home environment is a huge step in a child’s life which can leave them feeling frightened and overwhelmed.
Preparation both before, during and after the big day will ease this key change.
It’s good to talk
One way of helping your child get used the idea of school is to talk about it with enthusiasm and excitement in the weeks beforehand. You can do this casually at mealtimes or when you are out and about with your child.
Talking about coping with first day at school nerves can relieve any worries your child may feel. Make sure you keep it as light and natural as possible. Don’t push it as it may make them more anxious.
Create excitement about the first day of school by going on a shopping trip for all of the essentials. Get your child involved in picking out kit. Of course, ultimately you will make the decisions but it is nice for them to have a say if they are interested.
Whenever you mention going to school, don’t let your own feelings of sadness show as your child will pick up on them. Keep upbeat and excited about it all.
If your child will be going to school with kindergarten friends, ask them what they are all looking forward to when they are all together.
Familiarity is important
To help your child get over any feelings of anxiety about the first day, take them to their new school playground a few times for some fun during the summer holidays.
Getting them familiar with the route to school or the bus stop is also important so make sure that you go through this once or twice. Chat about the school building itself in a casual way by asking which classroom your child would like and such.
Look after yourself
This is a big change for you too so look after your own feelings of sadness. Just be careful not to let your child see these if you think it will upset them. On the first day, make sure you say goodbye before leaving them at their classroom. A quick kiss, a warm hug and a mention of seeing them after school will reassure them.
It will also go a long way to reassuring you as well!