How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Day at School
Watching your child go off to big school for the first time is a significant moment. Not only does it mean they will have to get used to being away from you possibly for the first time all day long, but you also have to get used to it too! Even if your little one has been going to crèche when you went back to work, a whole day at preschool is a big step. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do in advance to prepare your child for their first day.
Here, we take a look at just a few of these things to help you prepare both yourself and your child for their big day.
Visit the School Together
Many schools will allow you to visit the school together with your child before the big first day. This is often a great way to ease the discomfort of the unknown and create a little more familiarity. Hopefully here, you can also meet the new teacher or teachers too.
Shop for School Supplies
Shopping for school supplies together not only ensures that your child is fully equipped for their first day, but it also creates excitement about the prospect of school.
Prepare Them for Fewer Naps
Even at preschool, children have to be awake for much longer than many of them are used to. Some schools allow for downtime or even nap time, but even in these instances, many children find it too distracting and unusual to really get in their afternoon nap that they might have become used to. To help with this lack of sleep, begin to ease off on naps on the lead up to starting school, helping them to better manage if they need to go without.
Practice the Start of The Day
If your child hasn’t been to daily crèche or any form of child-minding previously, getting up early and beginning the day with purpose can come as a shock. To ensure you don’t add running late to the stresses of the morning, practice the start of your day; getting dressed, having breakfast, ensuring you have all you need etc. This will help the first day to be less of a shock to both yourself and your child.
Have an Open Conversation About School
As hard as you might find it to drop your little one off at preschool, at least you know that all will be well in the end. For our children, the prospect of meeting new people and being away from home and out of their comfort zone can be very overwhelming. Keep encouraging an open dialogue on the lead up to the first day and try to prompt your little one into letting you know what they’re thinking or worrying about so that you can help ease their mind in advance.
The first day at school is a rite of passage for all children. It’s also a key experience for all parents. Try to continually encourage your little one to talk to you about their fears and worries so that you can try to help them with solutions. And remember not to let them see that you’re just as nervous too!