THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
The first thing to do to prepare for the new year, especially
if your child is starting kindergarten or preschool, is to
spend some time with yourself journaling or processing YOUR
feelings. Yes, in order for your child to feel safe and confident,
YOU have to move through any feelings you might have about
them separating from you, growing up, not needing you, your
unresolved feelings of your own separation from your parents,
whatever. Feel them, think about them, talk about them with
other caring adults AWAY from your children, write them down
and have a good cry.
Drive by the school often and talk about all the great fun
they are going to have learning, and playing. Be specific
about the type of activities they will be doing. Walk around
the school and find their classroom, the bathroom, the play
area, spend some time exploring, peeking in windows and having
fun. If possible visit the classroom and teacher before school
starts for a little get acquainted time.
Start setting up school bedtimes and rituals and implementing them earlier than you need them so your child will be ready and well rested.
Decide together exactly what you will do when the first day
comes, both at home getting ready and once you get to school.
Practice your routine several times.
Find out the school’s policy on how to help crying children separate and discuss it with your child.
Discuss any concerns they might be having several days beforehand and help them find solutions to their concerns.
Reassure your child that you will be back at ____o’clock to pick them up.
If your child resists or says they don’t want to go, listen to their concerns, acknowledge their feelings and say in a kind and caring tone, “Yes I understand, and you are still going to school.” Then hum and keep moving on with your agreed upon routine.
Feel and act confident and brave in front of your child. Save any tears you have for later.
Keep your chin up, you’ll both do great!