Whether your child started school for the first time, moved to a new school or transitioned to high school it can be an emotional and exciting few weeks for children and parents alike. Here are our top tips for making things go smoothly.
Drop off: If you know a child in the class arrange to meet and walk in together. Everything is less scary with a friend.
Create a goodbye routine, whether it’s a kiss and hug, “see you later alligator”, or hi five. Practice this routine at all times when you leave your child, for example at a grandparents, at play dates, not just school. It gives them a verbal and physical reminder that your leaving but will be back again soon.
Trust in the teachers and teaching assistants. They are complete pros at this and have dealt with children finding transition to school difficult. There isn’t much they haven’t seen before.
Less Questions at pick-up: When you ask your child about their day they may not have much to say. Some children need some downtime before the can reflect, think or talk about school.
Don’t plan too much in the first few weeks: Wait until they are settled before signing them up for lots of after school clubs. Your child maybe very tired in these first few weeks.
It’s a big step your parents too: You may feel like you have lost your baby, they are becoming a big girl or boy by starting school. Your pre-teen maybe transitioning to high school and your worried about the challenges and new responsibilities they are going to face.
Have that chat with a friend or your partner, keep busy either with work, take time for that exercise class or 5 mins to yourself, you have been longing for. This allows you space not to unconsciously pass your anxieties to your child.
Routine: It’s a word used a lot in all aspects of parenting, but that’s because it works. Its especially useful to build a routine in the first few weeks of school. You may want to make preparations for the next day part of your evening routine. There won’t be much expectations for homework in their first few weeks but it soon comes, so set some time aside each evening. Your child will be processing all the new experiences they’re having so sticking to a bedtime routine helps. Sleep is a remedy for most things.
No comparisons: “look that child doesn’t cry about school”, or “your friends are so much more organised”. Knowing your child and loving them for who they are is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children. We each take our own unique journey in our own time.
In general your child and you should be well settled by half term and used to new routines.