While I may have forgotten a lot of things in my life, I remember my first day of school. I was so excited because I actually recognized someone. Her name was Donna. We’d met in a department store a week earlier. We had both picked out the same umbrella, but there was only one – she said I could have it. We’ve been friends for life.
When my daughter began school, she experienced all the same emotions I had those many years ago; scared, excited and uncertain where to go and what to do next. She found a friend also and they wandered the halls together.
Some school districts have already begun their new school year, but for many kids - the bell will ring in the next couple of weeks.
Children aren’t the only ones that are anxious as the first day rolls around – parents can get quite nervous and have that feeling that their little one is growing up so fast- trust me I know. It’s a normal “things are about to change” emotion.
One tip I’d like to suggest before your little one starts school is to share your own first day memories with your child as well as pictures. It’s amazing how comforting it is for a child to know that their parents did the same thing at their age and lived to tell about it!
To help make the first day of school a little less scary for your child, here are some other tips from https://www.healthychildren.org:
• Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. She will see old friends. She will meet new friends. Refresh her memory about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
• Remind your child that he is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will be making an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
• Talk about the kinds of interesting things he will learn in the months ahead.
• Buy him or her something (perhaps a pen or pencil) that will remind her you are thinking of them while they are at school, or put a note in their lunch-box.
• Reassure your child that if any problems arise at school, you will help resolve them. (If problems do occur, get involved as soon as possible.)
• Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus. If your child is not going to ride a school bus and you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up the first day.
• Encourage him to look for new students in his classroom or in the playground, invite them to join the group for a game, and ask them about their interests.
• After school, show your child some special attention and affection. Give him or her a hug and ask what happened at school. Did she have fun? Did he make any new friends? Does she need any additional school supplies (notebooks, rulers, erasers) that you can shop for together?
In addition to the suggestions listed above, your child may need some extra support if he or she is starting school in a new location. Here are some suggestions to make the transition easier.
• Talk with your child about his or her feelings, both their excitement and their concerns, about the new school.
• Visit the school with your child in advance of the first day. Teachers and staff are usually at school a few days before the children start. Peek into your child's classroom, and if possible, meet the teacher and principal. You might be able to address some of your child's concerns at that time. She may have no questions until she actually sees the building and can visualize what it will be like. (When you formally register your child in the new school, bring her immunization record and birth certificate; usually school records can be sent directly from school to school once you sign a "release of information" form.)
• Try to have your child meet a classmate before the first day so they can get acquainted and play together, and so your child will have a friendly face to look for when school begins.
• Do not build up unrealistic expectations about how wonderful the new school will be, but convey a general sense of optimism about how things will go for your child at the new school. Remind him that teachers and other students will be making an extra effort to make him feel welcome.
• If your child sees another student or a group engaged in an activity she is interested in, encourage her to ask if she can participate.
• As soon as you can, find out what activities are available for your child in addition to those that occur during school itself. Is there a back-to-school picnic or party planned? Can he or she join a soccer team? (For community sports programs, sign-ups often begin weeks or even months before the start of the season.)
It’s been many years since my first day at school but I remember it well. Your child’s life is about to change forever, but that’s a good thing-another milestone in life’s progression. Give him or her a hug, wipe away the tears and smile a big smile. Let them know you trust them and are proud of them. Then go ahead and shed a few tears of your own when you’re back in the car. Yes, they are growing up fast.
Story source: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/school/Pages/Making-the-First-Day-of-School-Easier.aspx