For you and your child, the first day of school can be a scary day. As a parent, you will be entrusting the welfare of your child to someone else. For your child, they will enter a world where you are not physically present. This is rough on them, but there are a few things you can do to make that first day of school an easier process.
Visit the School
If the school your child will be attending allows it, take them on a tour. During the summer take your child to the school and let them see where everything is. See if it is possible for you and your child to meet the teacher. The first day will be much less frightening if they are at least a little familiar with the environment and recognize a friendly face.
Talk and Listen
Talk to your child about school. Explain each step to them in detail. It is important for your child to know that it is okay for them to be afraid or anxious. Listen to what they have to say about it. Your child needs to know that no matter what you will listen and believe them.
Practice a Routine
By practicing the school routine during the summer, your child will experience less stress and anxiety. Make a list with pictures and words that show your child what will be happening and when. Be certain you follow the routine daily from getting up to the end of the school day.
Make School a Positive
Emphasize to your child the positive aspects of going to school. They need to feel good about the experience and the more anxious you appear the more anxious they will become. Talk with your child about you not being with them and how they may feel. Do not over emphasize how much they will be missed. This will only increase the stress and anxiety. Take your child to the library for books about going to school. Your local librarian can recommend some.
Practice Being Apart
This one is very important if your child has rarely been away from you. Enroll them in a summer activity where you drop them off and pick them up. Not only will your child understand that you will always return for them, but they will get to practice social interaction.
After all the hard work over the summer, your child will approach the first day of school with a small amount of trepidation, but you will rest a little easier knowing that they are ready. Letting them go can be a difficult thing to do!