Surviving the first day of school

Classroom

Some children get very excited about starting school, while others can feel quite frightened. It’s natural for your child to have some first day nerves but with a few tricks up your sleeve, hopefully the day will pass without any tears.

1) Start as you mean to go on

A calm start to the day will help relax your child and ease any nerves. Pack her school bag and lay out her clothes the night before so you don’t have to rush around in the morning. Leaving for school slightly early so you can take your time on the journey can also help settle your child’s nerves.

2) Introduce the teacher

Hopefully you’ll have had a chance to meet your child’s teacher before the start of term but when you arrive take her over and introduce her again, saying the teacher’s name.

3) Leaving

Once you know your child’s settled, it’s time to leave. Most children get upset because they know you’re still there and the anticipation of you leaving makes things worse. So don’t hang about unnecessarily. Once you’ve left, it’s likely she’ll get on playing with other children and forget you were ever there!

4) Be calm

If you’re feeling anxious, your child will probably pick up on it and this will make her anxious too. So try to be relaxed – even if you don’t feel it! Chat away calmly and put on a brave face. If you feel tearful, don’t let her see you’re upset.

5) Trust the teacher

Remember, teachers know what they’re doing and whatever your child’s reaction to school, they will have seen it all before. They’ll be prepared for nerves in the first few weeks and many schools have a ‘buddy’ system so children are paired with an older child who knows the ropes.

If you’re still worrying, don’t forget that if there are any problems the school will always ring you.

6) Do something fun

Once your child is immersed in the fun of school, she’ll probably forget she was ever nervous. But, of course, you’re likely to worry about how she’s getting on all day! So organise something to distract yourself, whether it’s a bit of retail therapy or lunch with a friend. It’ll be pick-up time before you know it!

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