The start of the school year is an exciting time; full of anticipation and new experiences! It can also be a stressful time of year. Parents and children will be learning new routines and procedures and learning to welcome new members into their community (teachers and other families).
If your child is starting school for the first time this fall, here are a few tips to get him/her ready:
1. Talk about it, but not too much. It is important that you let your child know that she is starting school, but talking about it too much can create unneeded anxiety. This can be difficult because you are excited about the start of school, but because your child does not yet know what that means, she may get stressed if you focus on it.
2. Drive to the school. It is nice to have an outing that is just a drive to the school. Children come to know their trip to school very well, and this can help relieve worries for them on the first day of school. About a week before school starts say, “we are going to drive to your school today.” Drive the route you plan to take on the first day of school.
3. Have her help pack her things. The school will provide a list of things she will need. Make sure all her clothing items are labeled and invite her to help you count and put the items she needs in a bag.
4. Visit the school if they have an opportunity. Many schools offer an open house style visit before school starts. Take the time to go with your child. Do not stay too long, it’s best if she leaves wanting more and interested to return.
5. Relax and enjoy this moment. This is a milestone in your lives! Take a moment to acknowledge it. Trust in your decision to send her to school, and enjoy your reconnection when she comes home.
Have a great school year!