It can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience seeing your child off to school for the first time. As kids reach each milestone and enter into different stages of their life, parents often feel worried about how their child might do. Every kid responds differently to new and unfamiliar situations. It is, therefore, important for parents to recognise their child’s strengths and weaknesses, and cater to their individual needs when learning and facing new challenges.
To give you a sense of structure on how you could go about planning and preparing your little one for school, we’ve come up with top 10 tips that will help you and your child overcome those heebie-jeebies!
- Introduce your child to the idea of school, including reasons why it’s important to attend school and what his/her schedule will be like (e.g. start/finishing times, etc.).
- Talk with your child about his/her feelings on starting school – encourage expressions of concern and excitement.
- Explore with your child the various activities he/she will be involved in at school.
- Let your child know that it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous on the first day/week of school – all kids are in the same boat!
- Expose your child to different social environments so he/she can learn how to adjust to unfamiliar places and make new friends.
- Reassure your child that you will always be there for them when problems arise at school.
- Arrange for your child, ahead of time, to meet his/her teacher and familiarise him/herself with the school.
- Get your child into a routine of going to bed and waking up at consistent times – as if school has started already!
- Teach your child how to take care of their own belongings (e.g. packing and unpacking their backpack).
- Practise saying goodbye – you could do this by dropping your child off at a trusted family or friend’s place for a couple of hours while you run some errands.