Starting school is a big milestone for every child and for their parents too. It can be exciting and terrifying all at once, as your child heads off to big school and gains some independence. The Mykidstime team have experienced 12 first days of school between them – here’s our Proven Tips on Surviving Your Child’s First Day of School. Big deep breaths now everyone!
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#1. Label Everything
From lunch boxes to pencils make sure to label everything your child takes to school. Most parents will do books, cardigans and jackets but items such as pencil cases, lunch bags / boxes can also be the same as those other children have and your child will be upset if they can’t find theirs.
We love these personalised labels from My Nametags and Label My Stuff. Ideal for children who can’t yet recognise their name as they have fun images and are durable and easy to attach.
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I know it is difficult to get children to bed on time during the summer holidays and with the added excitement of starting school, bed time can slide. However, it will really help if they are well rested before day one.
Maybe in the week coming up to starting school you could try and get a good bedtime routine going.
You may also like – 5 Sleep Routine Tips for Back to School and Top Tips for Getting Your Kids to Sleep Well
Make sure your child has a good breakfast before they head off for their first morning at school. It will improve their concentration and will keep them going until first break.
On the first morning, it could be nice, as a treat, to make their favourite breakfast or maybe pancakes in fun shapes.
You may also like – Simple Morning Hacks to Make Life Easier & 10 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas – That aren’t Porridge!
Involve your child in choosing their lunch box / bag and what goes into it! Make sure they can open it easily, and choose foods they know and like to fill it.
For the first day, it might to comforting to put a little note in with their lunch, even just a little heart to let them know you are thinking of them.
Make sure to include healthy options only, as most schools have a strict food policy and the last thing you want is for your child to be told they can’t bring an item again. Ensure that they can not only easily open, but also close, their own drinks bottle, to prevent leaks.
Check out these parent recommendations – The Best School Bags, The Best Lunch Boxes, 100 Healthy Kids Lunch Box Ideas and Lunchbox Hacks & Lunch Box Planner
Most schools expect your child to have all their books on the first day. It is a good idea to cover them with a clear plastic so your child can see the cover and can identify the book they are being asked to take out.
Most of these books will most likely be kept in school, so just be sure and tell your child that this may happen, so they don’t get upset when their new teacher takes their books away.
#6. Be Organised
Pack school bags the night before and lay out their school clothes to avoid rushing about on the first morning, and extra stress from being late on your first day. Here are 21 top tips for making Back to School night super easy.
Set your alarm clock a little earlier to ensure you have a few extra minutes for any first day wobbles, and time to get dressed and make that extra special breakfast for your child.
Nice and relaxed is the order of the day – not a mad dash from bed to the school gate!
You may like these 10 SImple School Morning Hacks & Simple Tips to Make School Mornings Easier
#7. Be Brave!
I am talking about the parents here. Your child will be fine, even if they have a bit of a wobble to begin with, as soon as you leave they will be calm down.
Children look to you for reassurance, so be sure to arrive positive, happy and confident and that will help your child to feel that way too. If you are prone to shedding a tear (and that is completely okay by the way!), try and hold off until you are out of sight!
And remember, if there are any issues at all, the school will call you.
Check Out – Your Child’s Starting School, are They (and You) Ready? & First Day of School Poem for Parents
#8. Help Them to Become Independent
When you arrive at school, find out where they should hang their coat and if there are any special instructions for bags and lunch boxes.
If you show them on the first day it will help them settle in right away and give them a sense of independence. You could also point out where the bathrooms are and encourage them to go, even if they don’t think they need it!
You may also enjoy – Top Tips for Staring School with Parenting Expert John Sharry
#9. Make an Effort
Make an effort with other parents on the first day. Remember you are gong to be seeing these parents for up to 8 years! Lots of schools run coffee mornings on the first day, and if your school does, do try and pop along to meet the other parents – at least you can all shed a little tear together!
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#10. Keep the School Informed
Ensure you have made the school / teacher aware of any allergies or special needs your child may have. Or if there are any family situations that may impact your child’s behaviour.
Ensure they have contact numbers for you and check, discreetly, with the teacher at the end of the day to see how your child has coped.
Check this out – Tips if Child Starting School with Allergies
#10. Keep the Afternoon Free
Your child will most likely be tired after their first day at school. Some may even need a nap.
If at all possible, try to pick your child up on their first day and spend the afternoon hanging out with them. You could go for a treat lunch or have their favourite lunch ready at home.
If this is your first school going child, don’t be concerned if they don’t come home with lots of stories. Asking “How was your first day”? may just elicit a one word, “fine or ok”, answer. Try to ask open more specific questions, like What game did you play in the yard?, What was the name of the boy/girl you sat beside? etc. Be patient and let them tell you in their own time.
Finally enjoy this great day and celebrate all it signifies. And don’t worry if you (and they) shed tears – this is completely normal and I promise, you will all soon settle into the routine.
Recommended Read: 12 Useful Ways For Surviving First Week of School
Check out our Back to School Section for more money saving tips, lunch ideas and checklists.
Have you any top tips on starting school? Please share them in the comments box below.