Help your child to help themselves. Think about practical things your child needs to deal with at school – like knowing where the toilet is and being able to comfortably go by himself or herself.
If your child doesn’t wear a school uniform, make sure that the clothing is suitable for them to manage by themselves.
Similarly, make sure to practice opening lunchbox, drinks, schoolbags, etc so you can be sure your child manages them independently when at school. Knowing how to handle these little tasks will build confidence to cope with the school day.
Be open about arrangements. If you’ve promised to be at school early to meet your child, keep your word. Unless arrangements have to change in the case of an emergency, you need to let your child know who will collect him/her after school. The more certain your child is about arrangements, the easier it will be to settle.
Also be open to how your child is feeling.
If he tells you he’s unhappy, listen to what he’s saying.
If he makes a comments like “stupid teacher”, listen to your child’s experience.
If you say, “We don’t talk about our teachers like that” without first listening to what lies behind that comment, you may encourage your child to go ‘underground’ about their upsets or anxieties. So keep the communication channels open.
It’s also important to keep the communication open between yourself and the school staff. If your child is unhappy or anxious, book an appointment to speak to the teacher, or if necessary the principal.