All around the United States, parents and children are preparing for the first day of school. For many families, it will be a big milestone as they send off a little one for the first time.
Before the first day of school, most parents spend the summer preparing their children for the big event, fielding questions about how they’ll make friends or if the teacher will know that they’re allergic to peanut butter. There’s back-to-school shopping, making sure that they have everything that’s required. It’s an exciting and busy time, however, most parents don’t spend enough time preparing themselves emotionally.
It’s a huge deal to let go of the person you’ve taken care of every waking moment for the first 5 – six years of their life. Now, there will be someone else in charge of their day; making sure they’re eating lunch, keeping them safe, and helping them to learn.
Here are a few tips for parents on their child’s first day of school.
- Make sure there’s some extra time in the morning.
The first day can be extra emotional, so give yourself a bit of extra time in the morning to avoid more stress. Avoid having to rush as much as possible. Plus, you’ll want to take plenty of “first-day” photos!
- Avoid panicking
It’s okay to be emotional, in fact, it’s expected. However, try to avoid letting your child see you upset or stressed. Remember, it’s going to be okay! If you’re upset, your child will pick up on it and you don’t want them to be worried or afraid. (Safe the tears until after drop-off.)
- It’s okay to stick around for a few minutes
There are different schools of thought on this, however, I personally, believe it’s okay to hang around the classroom for a few minutes while your child gets settled in. Some people wait until their kid is distracted and sneak out, but I think that can make them more stressed out. Instead, you can say your goodbyes and wish them luck. It’s an exciting thing! Trust the teachers in these situations and follow their lead.
- Communicate with the teacher
Additionally, make sure that you’re communicating with the teacher. If your child is particularly upset at the idea of being away from you or in a new place let the teacher know how they’re feeling.
Teachers are amazing and there’s not much they haven’t seen or can’t handle. Believe in them!
- Tell your child how much you believe in them
Make sure that you’re as encouraging as possible leading up to drop-off. Let your child know how much fun they’ll have. A lot of kids worry about making friends. Instill confidence in them, even if you have worries or doubts.
- Be early when it’s time for pick up
It’s hard to juggle every aspect of life, but if you can, try to be early for school pick-up. It might be your first day as a parent of a kindergartener, and you’ll want to be sure that you know where to go. It often takes a bit of time to get all of the students where they need to be so showing up early can make the process smoother.
- Carve out a bit of special time after school
After the first day, try to set aside a little bit of time to talk to your child about their day. Go somewhere fun like a park or treat shop and ask them to tell you all about it (if they want). If they don’t want to elaborate, try not to push. Just let them know how proud you are.
The first day is filled with big emotions for everyone, however, it’s an exciting time.