From that tiny, adorable baby in your arms, through to their very first day day at school all in the blink of an eye! Wow, that time really does fly by and your child’s first day at school can actually be more emotional for us parents than it is for them!
Do you have a child preparing for their first day at school next week? I am certain that most parents go through the same thoughts and questions…will my little one enjoy school? Will they be exhausted? How will they cope with tying their own shoes? Will they make friends? Will I get on with the other parents in the playground!
Lets face it, its a nerve wracking experience for us all! So what can parents do to try and prepare their kids for the next major milestone in their lives and yours?
1)Talk about school in advance – Read books which help a child to understand what’s involved, give your child plenty of opportunity to ask questions. There are some great books available from your local book shop or library, our daughter particularly enjoyed Going to School by Usborne books, however there are plenty of great stories to help prepare your child. My daughter also used to enjoy watching Topsy and Tim who concentrate on a whole episode on their first day at school. why not sit down together to watch it and then have a good chat about the program afterwards, allowing your child to ask questions that may be whizzing around in their little heads.
2)Be prepared – Getting everything ready for their first day at school can be really fun! Lay out their new uniform and suggest a little fashion show. This will help them to get excited about the new adventure ahead of them as well as offering you a chance to praise them while you are relaxed and have time. When it comes to their first morning, you can reflect on how brilliant they were at popping on their uniform last time. Why not get them to help you with all those name labels, an extra pair of hands can be great with the name stickers even if they are a bit wonky! TOP TIP: label everything! You can gurantee you will end up with missing socks and jumpers!
3) Stick to the regular home routine – Avoid any big changes to routine, so regular every day stuff still happens and acts as an anchor to all the new stuff which will come from starting school. If you have family gatherings planned that you expect to be late nights, make sure you bag a babysitter to ensure bedtime still happens nice and early! With all the new faces, information and great new friends to interact with, children are bound to be exhausted! It will be the best for idea for the whole family if your new school goer gets lots and lots of sleep!
4)Get there early – If you leave it too late the playground will be busy and that can be an over whelming feeling for anyone. Setting of early will also help you all to stay calm, no-one enjoys running late and this stress can totally rub off on your little one. A nice relaxed calm start to the day will be great for you all and set the day right.
5)Keep yourself occupied until 3pm – Get some bits factored in to keep yourself busy all day! Work, shopping, meet up with friends whatever it is don’t go back to an empty house unless you can fill your day with long over due chores that will help clear your mind! A tidy house is a tidy mind after all. First days at school are emotional for you parents too so take a minute for you too!
6)Expect no information –This is perfectly normal. The first day is a full day. Once they settle in try using open ended questions such as did you play X game today? Or strike up a conversation beginning with a piece of artwork or schoolwork they brought home. Also familiarize yourself with their study topics and discuss these. All in all though, most parents I’m sure will agree that getting information out of your child on their school; day is quite frankly like getting blood out of a stone! Hilariously they can’t even remember what they had for lunch!!
Good luck newbie parents and enjoy this new chapter of you children’s lives and their mums and Dad’s! x