With September on the horizon, endless parents and children are facing the first day of school. And, if your child is anything like most, they may be getting nervous about it. School is, after all, a massive change for a child who is used to spending their days at home. Even if your little one has spent some time in a nursery before now, it won’t have even begun preparing them for the shift which is about to take place.
You’re probably feeling a little scared, too. This change is about to shake your world as well, remember? But, you’ll feel a lot better about things if you’re able to ease your little one’s nerves. This is easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible. And, one of the best ways to achieve it is to turn those flutters into excitement rather than nerves using the following tactics.
Go on a special school shopping trip
Bribery may seem like a cheat, but few things work better for getting a child excited. Besides, you’re going to need to invest in a few things in prep for that first day of school anyway. Why not use it to your advantage by getting your child involved? Surely even you remember how much fun a new pencil case or rucksack could be?
Bear in mind that it’s best to go this trip sooner rather than later. If you leave it until the end of August, you risk running into bigger kids who scare your youngster. Not to mention that you may end up unable to find certain things and sending your child into even more of a panic.
By stocking up on essentials like brand new kids shoes and first-time uniforms early, you can make sure that doesn’t happen. You also guarantee that you and your kiddie have free-reign of the back-to-school section so that you can shop in comfort. That means you can take your time and build on that excitement without revealing the more daunting big kids your little one will have to face when the time comes.
Get a headstart on helping them to make friends
New stuff might go some ways towards easing those nerves, but it’s not enough on its own. That’s why it’s also worth doing what you can to help your little one make friends in their class ahead of time. If they know their friends are going to be there on the day, after all, they’ll feel a whole lot more at ease, and may even want to rush in and get playing.
If your little one is already friends with some of their future classmates, take the time to make playdates and cement those friendships in light of this new common ground. If the class is entirely unknown to them, reach out to other parents during school visits, or ask around your mummy friends to see if they know anyone who will be attending. Then, set up playdates and see if you can’t get a bit of a headstart on helping your child settle in. Once they’re together, you may even find that the kids start to talk about what they’re expecting from school, and get each other excited that way.
Let them look around the school
Make sure, too, that you let your child look around their new school ahead of time. As well as helping them to know where they have to go, this can both calm nerves and lead to increased levels of excitement. Your primary focus here should be their classroom, where you can talk to them a little about all the exciting things they’ll learn, or where their peg will be in the cloakroom. If possible, you should also arrange a meeting with their future teacher. That teacher will then be able to tell them even more about all the things they can look forward to. If your child is taken with the teacher in question, you may even find that a chance to be around that person all day is yet another reason for them to get excited.
Undeniably, there are going to be some tears during this journey. The chances are that even you will experience wobbles when your little one is finally ready to start school. But, if you go about it in the right way, first day flutters will be (for your little one, at least) more about all the things that they can’t wait to do than about the nerves they might have felt otherwise.