Published on 20 January 2020
Chances are not only is your child nervous for their first day of school, but so are you! Mental preparation plays a large role in managing the transition into school, not only for your child but the whole family.
The transition to school is a rite of passage for each of us, and one that parents have navigated year and year again. So where to start? Read the below ideas and expectations from veteran parents, schools and specialists.
Practice Practice Practice
- Practice with your child the routine expected with getting ready for school. Including getting up, eating breakfast, getting dressed, packing lunch, brushing teeth and getting out the door in a reasonable time. Even take your child out with their packed lunch, so they can practice opening their lunch box by themselves.
- It can help children to navigate the morning routine with visual cues. Print off some pictures of each step to complete along the way. The cards are a good reminder of what is next and prompts children to begin to learn to do the routine themselves.
- Practice the little things; i.e. tying shoe laces, opening lunches and packets, unzipping bags, putting on jumpers
- Mental preparation probably plays the largest role in feeling ready and confident for school. By practicing skills children will feel accomplished, however this is not limited just to physical skills, but also social skills. Children may or may not feel nervous about meeting new people and being in a new environment. Taking your children to places where they can practice social skills will help them with those first day jitters. Why not visit a park by yourselves and encourage your children to make two new friends? Building their confidence will help them to adjust to changes.
- If you’re confident, you will exude positive vibes. Positivity breeds positivity. Remind your child how awesome and brave they are for starting this new adventure. Speak positively about going to school.
- Tiredness is very real! Your child will be exhausted with the new routine, adjusting to a full week and busy days. Expect that your child may be cranky, excited, overtired and potentially full of all the emotions. Give your child space and remind them that you’re there. Provide them with a healthy snack and dinner and make sure they are off to bed at reasonable time to start the day again!
Before you know it, your child will be settled into a routine and hopefully with new friends. If you’re not sure where to begin or want to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything for school, check out this handy checklist. Goodluck and happy school year!