The first day of school can be nerve-wrecking for many children, as they enter a new year, a new classroom, and many more new adventures. It’s filled with questions: Will I make friends? What is my teacher like? Who am I sitting next to? As a parent, you may be relaxed about sending your little one off to school (and dare I say happy?) and having your days back, but some parents also worry on how their little one will cope, especially in a new school. So here are eight ways to help your child have a successful first day, and hopefully year ahead.
1. Plan a Fun Night-Before-School Dinner
Start getting your child excited about their first day with a fun night-before-school dinner! You can have them help you in the kitchen by making homemade pizzas, or baking some delicious cupcakes. Keep it happy and light, and they will feel your positive energy and go to sleep looking forward to the next day!
2. Choose Comfortable and Confidence-Boosting Clothes
The day before school, make sure your little one has picked out what they are going to wear so they feel confident but also comfortable throughout the day. Comfy shoes are a must, as well as breathable clothing, so avoid doing up a tight belt or buttons up to the chin. As adults, we know how important it is to dress for success and it’s the exact same for our children, except more often than not, they will be running around in their clothes getting messy. Ah, to be young again
3. Try Not To Rush Rush Rush
This one is much easier said than done, especially when you have more than one child to dress and feed, but go with me. Do your best to time the morning so you don’t rush out the door, as that can make a child even more jittery. Yelling “HURRY UP! WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!” will not help them feel any calmer. Keep the atmosphere as relaxed as you can.
4. Prepare a Great Breakfast
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet more often than not, it is the one we put the least thought into. How about some yogurt with granola and fresh fruit, or these easy pita pockets? Running out of time? No problem, try one of these nutrient rich smoothies for the delicious, energizing burst they need.
5. Walk Them Inside
If possible, try to walk your child into their new school so they don’t feel too overwhelmed by all the new faces and the change of scene. It’s easy to get lost in a new school, so having someone guide them to where they need to be will reduce the stress of finding it alone.
6. Leave a Little Note
If you’re packing a lunch or snack for the day, why note leave a sweet or funny or inspiring note? You know what your child would like best, and the hand-written note from someone they love will be sure to make them smile and feel enthusiastic about your support on their big day.
7. Pick Them Up With a Smile
If you are able to pick them up after school, then imagine how great it would be for them to see you with a smile at the end of a long, crazy day? They’ll be sure to have stories of new adventures and people, so be sure to have your ears ready (as we do All. Day. Long) and some encouraging words to hand.
8. Keep Them Engaged By Asking About Their Day
Not only does asking your child about how their day at school went keep your child engaged, but it also keeps the lines of communication open between the two of you. Show them that you’re interested in their friends and schoolwork by asking them what they’ve learned, how their day was, what they liked best/worst etc to show you care and support them.
What are your tips to beat first day school nerves?