The first day of school is one of the pivotal points in every child’s life. Even when you grow up, you still remember the day when you started your education.
Since it’s the beginning of a new period for your kid, you have an important role in preparing the ground for it.
When parents play their roles in a calm and supportive way, children feel less anxious about the beginning of school.
That’s why we’ve prepared seven steps that will make both you and your son look forward to that day.
1) Eliminate your own fear
Some children fear more, some less but most kids have some emotions as the first day of school is coming closer.
Since their emotional system is still taking shape at that age, parents are there to serve as a cushion between the potential fears and their children.
First and foremost, you should bring back your own memories of that period. Try to remember how you felt on your first day of school. Those of you who didn’t enjoy that day should identify the source of that unpleasant feeling.
Once you understand why you didn’t like it, it will be easier for you to ensure an encouraging environment for your child.
Also, even if you’re afraid of your kid’s first day in school, you shouldn’t show them your fear. It’s enough to tell them that everything is going to be all right and assuage their fears.
2) Talk to your child beforehand
No matter whether your child attended a preschool or not, it’s important to talk to them about school.
For starters, let them know that you were in their position when you were their age. Even if you don’t remember your first school day or it wasn’t a pleasant experience, sugarcoat your story. It’s extremely important that parents don’t transfer their own fear of school to their children.
Your kid might or might not like school and all the things it brings but let them make that conclusion themselves.
Moreover, talk to your child about school beforehand in a relaxed way. For instance, you can bring up the topic when in the car or when you’re taking your child for an ice-cream. Children are more likely to talk about things in a relaxed way than when they’re asked directly and abruptly.
Ask your son or daughter what they’re expecting from school and how they imagine the beginning of their education.
3) Visit the school on the open day
Most schools organize open days. On these special occasions, school officials present their building, teachers, and methodologies to attract more pupils to come to their school.
From the parents’ point of view, it’s a great opportunity to get familiar with the school management and the facility.
You should pay special attention to the head teacher’s speech. It will help you prepare your child for the forthcoming obligations.
Also, you should check the toilet and the backyard. These are delicate areas for first graders so make sure you take a look at them.
Of course, don’t forget to take your kid with you to a school open day. Let them look around the entire building and its surroundings. Also, try not to attack your child with dozens of questions but rather let them make their observations. After a while, they’ll share their impressions with you.
Again, don’t show anxiety or tension even if you feel such emotions. Remember that you’re here to make your child feel comfortable while exploring the facility in which they’re going to spend many years.
4) Get all the school things on time
In some communities, children get their books and other materials on the first day of school. They keep them in their cabinets and they don’t bring them home.
In others, parents need to buy all the educational materials and children bring them home after school.
In that case, it’s extremely important to get everything your child will need on time. If you don’t buy books, notebooks, and other materials on time, you could put additional stress on your child’s back.
While you can’t choose the student and activity books, you can let your child choose their own notebooks, pens, crayons, and other similar things. This will ensure that your kid feels confident and comfortable using their very own school materials.
5) Learn more about additional activities
Every school offers some extracurricular activities. More often than not, there are additional activities for first graders, as well.
Therefore, you should do your homework before school and find out more about them. Then, as your kid gets accustomed to the regular classes, you can ask them what other things they would like to do.
Of course, be ready for all sorts of answers. If the kid is still getting used to school, don’t insist on taking on additional hobbies. Only when they’ve become comfortable with their everyday school duties should you encourage them to start doing more things.
Also, you should spend a lot of quality time with your kid after school. Every trained nanny will tell you that it’s important for children to have the right structure in everything they do. In line with that, you can take your child to two the playground two times a week after school.
At the weekend, you can plan different activities in the park or trips to the country.
All these activities will help your child develop some additional skills, as well as to relieve some school stress if they feel any.
6) Let the child choose their clothes
As you’re preparing your kid for the first day of school, it’s important to know that their clothes will play an important role in his or her life.
Therefore, you should let them choose their own clothes for that special occasion.
For instance, if your kid likes Spiderman or Barbie, let them wear clothes with such pictures. Children have their own heroes that help them feel more comfortable. So, when your son or daughter is wearing a Spiderman T-shirt, they’ll feel happier and more confident in such an outfit.
Additionally, you should let your child choose their clothes in general. This will encourage their independence in making decisions. Also, it’s a simple but effective way to teach your kids the ABCs of money management.
The first day of school is an occasion that can cause many different emotions. While parents can’t control everything that happens that day, our main task is to make our children feel good that day.
If we speak with our kids about that day in advance and share our positive memories with them, they’ll feel less worried.
Also, if we take them to see the school before the first day, they’ll be more comfortable once it starts because they’ve already been there.
And if they choose the clothes they’re going to wear that very day, they’re more likely to feel pleasant in their own skin.
We hope that all these tips and activities will help you prepare your family and your kid for the beginning of his or her school life.