With the summer holidays drawing to a close, many children may be feeling anxious about going to school for the first time.
We’ve put together this guide on how to help your child to settle into school.
Children are easily upset.
Sometimes life changes, such as going to school for the first time, can cause children to become anxious, irritated and act out of sorts.
Going to school for the first time is a huge change in a child’s life. At this point they go from having 24 hour attention from their loving families and will now have to leave their side and head to school and make new friends, all without the comfort of having mummy or daddy to support them.
There are some ways to help ease the transition for your child.
One way to get a child used to not being with his/her parents at all times, would be to ask a close friend or someone you trust to babysit for a few hours. The fact that your child is away from you will encourage them to do new things and will make them feel more comfortable being away from you when they go to school.
Let Go Of The Hand!
We know a lot of you will be reading this and thinking “i want to be able to hold onto my child’s hand as long as possible” well you still can! A good way to ease the transition away from mummy and daddy and into school, would be to not hold your child’s hand all the time. By all means, hold their hand in the morning and for safety reasons, but when it is safe, let go of their hand, encourage your child to walk themselves, this will stop them looking for you at all times.
Routine, Routine, Routine!
Setting a new school routine can be really beneficial to your child, as they will start to look forward to it. Incorporating a fun routine for your child is simple and will help both your child, and you, to relax before school. On Sunday evening, ask your child to get his/her uniform out, and then empty their schoolbag (so you can declutter – there always seems to be litter in there!) and your child can pack their necessities. Check their pencil case to ensure they’re prepared for the week ahead and then it’s time for a bath!
At bathtime, try to include fun bath games, or read to him/her. Some children see taking a bath as a hassle, if you take the hassle out of bathtime, its more likely he/she will be happier. You could also set a bedtime routine, where you could read to your child on every school night, but not weekends, encouraging your child to look forward to school days more than the weekend!
Some children dislike packed lunches, so why not take your child to the supermarket once a week to pick the items he/she prefers for lunchtime. Your son or daughter will look forward to the outing, and even more so, will look forward to lunch time, knowing they have chosen it. Children love to be a part of decision making.
Getting your child into the car can often be an art all in itself. Many children know that if they get in the car they have to go to school for the entire day, so set a routine where your child will be desperate to get into the car, rather than out. Play fun car games or sing songs on the way to school and the trip to school will be more enjoyable for your child.
Talk To Their Teachers
Teachers love their students to be happy and content in their classroom and are more than familiar with nervous first time students. Feel free to go and talk to your child’s teachers and let them know about your child, tell them about things he/she likes to do, about their favourite television characters and music and you’ll find your child will grow to really like their teachers, making school a more fun and less scary environment.
We really hope this guide on how to help your child to settle into school has been useful. Do you have any techniques to help children get over their ‘first time at school’ nerves? Get in touch below.