This week will be a big week for those whose little ones are taking that huge step and walking in the doors of ‘Big School’, and starting in Junior Infants. It is a daunting experience for some and others just take it in their stride. Some parents will find that their emotions will catch them unawares, and they will fill up as they leave their little ones in to the class room.
Having done this twice now, here are a few simple pieces of advice:
- Try not to let your Junior Infant see you all emotional, keep that for outside and bring a packet of tissues.
- If you find your little one gets a bit teary and does not want you to go, make eye contact with the teacher and then reassure your little one that you will be back waiting for them after school. Then leave, don’t delay as it just becomes even more difficult to leave the classroom.
- If possible, you can peek back in later through the window and after 5-10 mins your little one will be distracted and have forgotten their earlier worries.
- If a child becomes too distressed, the teacher will let you know. They won’t let your child get too upset. Most Junior Infant teachers have all sorts of tricks to calm down little ones.
- Arrange to go and have coffee either with your partner, some of the other Mums or with friends. It will help distract you from worrying and the time will pass more quickly.
- Remember your little one will be tired and hungry when they come out after school, so don’t arrange a huge excursion somewhere. Home for quiet time works best in the first few days.
- A good bedtime routine is vital now as they are exhausted for these first few weeks.
- Always try and do a last minute bathroom visit before you leave home in the morning as it helps prevent accidents. At first, little ones may be too shy or nervous to find the toilet in the classroom, or to ask to go.
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