One of the most frightening things for any parent is sending their kid of to school for the first time. I swear to god the days leading up to this I was a nervous wreck. It was like all the fun and positive memories I had of school disappeared and all I could think of was the bad times I had at school and worst of all I am sure my mind was greatly exaggerating these “bad” times I was thinking of. But that first day of school came and went and before long it was summer vacation and my child’s first school year had finished. I want to share with you some thoughts and observations on how to prepare for your child stating school.
Tell Them The Positives About School
Make sure to tell them all about how much fun school is and how it’s great getting to eat lunch with other kids and how they can play. One thing I made it a point to do is tell my son about how he was going to get to learn all kinds of cool and fun things. I got him really excited at the idea of learning to read and learning about animals, other countries and all other kinds of things. You really want them to go into school with the mind-set that they want to learn things.
You Are More Scared Than They Are
I said in the intro that I was a nervous wreck, but my son was actually really excited about starting school. Sure there were times when he would be a little unsure and a little bit worried about being away from me, but for the most part I was the one who was scared. So just because you are worrying do not think that they are.
Do Not Freak Them Out
No matter if your stomach is doing back flips at the thought of them being away without you, you simply cannot let them see you like this. You have to play it off as if school is the best place on earth and that they are going to have a nice time and meet lots of new friends. You being all nervous and saying bad things about school is going to give them a negative impression before they step foot in the place.
Let Them Know How They Are Expected To Behave At School
Now I am a parent, but I also have worked in public schools for much of my career and I can tell you how frustrating it is when a child comes to school with no idea of how to behave. You really cannot blame the child, it’s down to the parents. Make it a point to tell them that while school is fun, that they are expected to be nice to other kids, polite to the teacher and do as they are told. They need to know that they must behave and that they cannot just do what they want. I am not saying make school sound like prison, but they need to know that as much fun school is that there are still rules.
Be Excited When They Come Home
Make it a point to be very excited to hear all about their school day. Ask about what they did, ask them what they have learned today. And also ask them about what new friends and what kind of games they were playing during recess. Show a real interest in their school day and tell them that you hope they have as much fun tomorrow. Make a big deal of what a great day they have had. If they are reluctant one day to go to school (which is bound to happen at some point) remind them about how much fun they have had so far.