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Top Tips For Starting School For The First Time

The runners have been bought, the lunch box is packet, and the pencils are sharpened. Now all there is to do is for your baby to start school for the first time. Feeling emotional?!

Don’t worry, a lot of moms feel a bit overwhelmed on the first day of school, and some children might too. So we’ve prepared a few handy tips to help keep you both on tip top form on the big day!

  1. Talk to them beforehand, and give them an idea of what to expect. Help your child to reflect on the similarities of their creche/pre-school, and their new school.

  2. Put a positive spin on things: Encourage your child to air their worries, but explain than not knowing anyone is a good chance to make friends; how starting school is a sign of them growing up etc

  3. If possible, familiarise yourselves with the school, and the students. Make the most of any open days or introductions; and if you know any other children going to the same school, meet for a play date in the weeks leading up to the start of term. If these aren’t possible, just walk past the outside of the school together, and talk about what it’s going to be like; so they have some sense of familiarity before the first day.

  4. Introduce them to rules: As they will be entering a more structured environment, with rules they have to adhere to; introduce this concept early on, and if possible get a copy of their new class rules, and reinforce them. After all, playground rules can become ‘rules for life!’

  5. Start to get into a routine at home; which will help to make the routine of school easier. Introducing different activities at set times can help prepare them for school timetables, and a set time for going to bed and getting up will help them to get the sleep necessary for the first days of school.

  6. Be practical: Make sure that all clothes have name tags on them, make sure their shoes and clothes are easy to put on and take off, and use a school bag and lunch box that they can open without help. Now they’re in ‘big school’ it’s time for them to feel the freedom of doing things for themselves. Why not encourage them to get into their uniform before the big day, to show the family?

  7. Make sure they are comfortable going to the loo by themselves.

  8. Allow Time: Get up 30 minutes early in the mornings, and lay out everything necessary the night before, so you’re not all running around in a panic. Also, arrive early to pick them up. There’s nothing scarier than deciding you’ve been abandoned!

    Read Next: 5 Gorgeous Lunch Box Ideas Your Child Will Love

  9. Be confident: If you are confident and show there is nothing to worry about, then it helps them to relax too. When you go in on the first day, meet the teacher, make sure they’re settled, and reassure them that you will be back for them at the end of the day (you could always do something special after school that they can look forward to?)

  10. Don’t stay more than 5 minutes. They will only really be able to settle in once you’ve gone, and your anxiety may rub off on them if you stick around. So trust that they will be ok, the teachers know what to do; and once you’ve said goodbye, leave confidently.

  11. Be understanding: Though you want to encourage their confidence, make sure you don’t belittle their fears. It is perfectly normal to be scared or nervous, and everyone else will be too; but the best way to overcome this is to be honest about their nerves, then to engage in this exciting new experience. They might cry, you might cry, but it will pass.

  12. Get to know other parents: Not only does this remind you that everyone else is in the same boat; it also helps to make play dates easier, and gives you back up if you’re ever running late etc. Just think, they could become new friends!

  13. Make sure the teacher has two correct (!) phone numbers they can reach you on in case of an emergency, and encourage your little one to learn your mobile number in case they ever get lost. But don’t panic, these probably won’t be used, but they’re necessary nonetheless.

  14. Make sure you empty their school bag every day, just in case there are important letters from the school being brought home.

  15. If your child has an inhaler, EpiPen, or any allergies, make sure that the teacher (and your child) are familiar with this.

So ... are you ready? Or do you expect to be a weeping mess on the first day of school?! If your children have already started school, what to you remember from the first day? We'd love to hear.

Read Next: How To Nurture Your Children's Mental Health


About the Author

Emily is a writer, editor, blogger, and our Digital Content Assistant. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake. She still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last nine years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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