If you are a parent of an incoming kindergarten student, you may be nervous about the first day of school. Don’t worry! It’s perfectly normal to feel some anxiety about the first day. Nonetheless, these grown-up anxieties are also present for your child. Rest assured, there are some methods you can use over the summer to ease those fears.
1. Curb Your Anxiety
As parents, we tend to be more nervous about the first day than our children. Keep in mind children are little sponges and soak up the emotional energy around them. If they see you are nervous, chances are they will feed off of your emotions and be nervous as well. By maintaining a calm demeanor, your child will draw from your strength and have the confidence to face their first day without anxiety.
2. Practice Makes Perfect
Change is difficult for many people, but especially for children. If you start preparing in advance for the first day of school with “practice runs,” it will help your child to ease into kindergarten a little at a time. Start with simply playing school at home by setting up a small classroom for imaginative play. You can watch videos together of classroom activities or show them pictures of what their school looks like. Another great idea is to implement a daily schedule to mirror getting ready and going to school. There are a number of great crafts on Pinterest for daily schedules to drive home the “school” feel.
3. Spend Time At The School
Most schools offer some type of orientation for students before the first day of school. By attending these events, you and your child will meet their teacher, check out their classroom, and experience what going to school will be like. Every child is different. Some will feel comfortable with their teacher right away, and others will need your encouragement to trust their new adult protector.
4. Do Your homework
You may have thought homework was for kids, but parents have homework too! The teacher will usually supply you with a packet showcasing their classroom’s schedule, rules, and procedures, along with a basic curriculum for what your child will be learning throughout the year. Establishing a relationship with your child’s teacher is a great way to ensure you are both on the same page for your child’s education.
5. Saying Goodbye
When the first day of school does come, keep goodbyes short and sweet. You should reassure your child you will be ready for them at the end of the school day. You can also reiterate how well they are going to do in class. The instinct to linger for a bit is natural; however, it can add to your child’s anxiety if they know you are just as nervous as they are. Your child trusts you completely; when you place your trust in the teacher, your child will as well.
With all of this knowledge, you are officially ready for the first day of school. Get your cameras ready and savor every last moment of summer vacation. Time is only going to speed by even faster than the last 5 years have.