Your child’s first day at school is a huge milestone. This might be his first step away from you and the comfort of your home and where he gets to explore a new setting, socialize and make new friends. But he is also treading on unfamiliar waters. This is why it is important to prepare your child for the first day of school.
While some children understand and accept the change in their routine and lifestyle, some kids feel anxious and fearful of the new. They might feel overwhelmed by the new environment and unfamiliar faces and stressed about being away from mommy and daddy.
Prepare your child for the first day of school
As parents, there are a few things we can do to ease our child’s worries about their first day of school.
Visit the school
Before the start of class, go with your child and visit the school and meet the teacher. This will help your little one prepare for his first big day. Help him introduce himself to the teacher and explain that the teacher will be there to help him if he needs it.
You can also tour the school and help your child know where the bathroom is and where to put their belongings.
Play school at home
Use the power of play and play school at home. You, the parent, can act as the parent, child, and teacher all at once and show and teach your child daily occurrences at school. You can act out common routines such as saying goodbye to mommy and daddy, reading and nap time and playing outside.
Assure your child that school is a nice play where he gets to meet new friends and do nice and interesting activities. Answer his questions patiently and listen to his worries.
Practice self-help skills
When your child finally enters school, he has to do things on his own and you can help him prepare for that. Before the start of school, start practicing self-help skills such as going to the bathroom alone, dressing up on their own, and learning when and how to wash their hands.
You can also roleplay a day at school to condition your child for his real first day. You can start the day by waking him up on time and show him the steps of getting ready for school, such as dressing up, eating breakfast, and out to the door.
Master basic skills and manners
If your child is starting school in a few months, teach them basic skills and manners. This will help them feel more comfortable in class. Basic skills such as learning to count to ten, know their full name, and how to hold a pencil. Though this is the purpose of why you are sending your child to school, it doesn’t hurt to teach them in advance.
Aside from this, also teach your child basic manners such as knowing when to say please, thank you, and you’re welcome.
Keep calm and let go
Truth be told, it’s not only the child that has a hard time with the first day of school. Parents have it hard, too. After years and years of having them at home, guiding them yourself, and directly supervising them under your hawk eyes, they are finally ready to fly away from you.
But the most important thing you can do for your child on his first day of school is to relax and show him that he is going to be okay. And you can’t do that if you are near crying, panicking, and worrying.
Once your child is off and ready for school, you should learn to let go of him and understand that the time has come for him to learn and explore things on his own.