The first time you do anything can be a daunting experience and going to school is no exception. This September, children all over the country will be setting foot within classrooms for their first time ever, and whether they're excited or anxious, there'll be jitters all round so pre-school preparation is required. If you want to prevent tears and tantrums, here are a few tips on how to get ready for the first day of school.
Visiting the school before the new term starts is a good way to ensure your child is familiarised with the buildings and classrooms and won't feel too out of their depth. If they can meet the teacher beforehand too, this can be very helpful. In the same way, if you know other children who will be starting with yours, get them together so they will have friends already and needn't feel shy or alone on their first day.
Having a routine settled before the first day is enormously beneficial to both parents and children. If lunches and uniforms are all ready to go the night before, there'll be less rushing around in the morning and consequently less stress! Also, if your child has already been introduced to the routine of getting up, having meals and going to bed at a certain time, it won't come as a shock to them when the school term starts.
Familiarising your child with school and the kinds of activities and rules that will face them there should make the transition to 'big school' easier. There will still be some concern on the day and there may be a few tears, and not just from the kids. Parents also feel anxious about the first day of school, and it can be tempting to stay at school once you've dropped them off on that first day. Many schools are happy for parents to spend a few extra minutes at school to reassure themselves their little ones will be alright. Just remember to try not to appear overly anxious - your children will pick up on it and it will make them anxious too.
A bit of planning, preparation and talking with your child about school will make their first day a fun adventure, and will leave you feeling relaxed and hopefully less teary!