Back To School: 10 Best Ways To Cure First Day Jitters
The first day of school is coming and whether or not they admit it, your kids may be a little apprehensive about it. They may be nervous about having moved to a new neighborhood or maybe this is their first day of school — ever. As the Mommy or Daddy, it’s on you to ensure that they start their year off right. Of course, there’ll be outside factors that you won’t be able to control once that first bell rings, but here’s a list of 10 ways to at least curb the first-day jitters beforehand.
Back To School: 10 Ways To Cure First Day Jitters
What If I Have An ‘Accident’?
Your preschooler may be worried about the bathroom situation at school. ‘What if I don’t find it in time and ‘go’ on myself?’ Just smile and have them help pack a Ziploc bag of clothes for school. Make it one of their favorite outfits that they’re on the verge of growing out of and they’ll be comforted to know that they’re prepared.
What If I Don’t Like the Food?
Pull up the school lunch menu online if you have access to it, if not, have the kids help choose what they want for lunch that first day. Of course, make it something nutritious and let them choose a treat. Avoid excessive sugar — so no Pixie Sticks — and opt for a bottled water or maybe milk.
What About Homework?
The younger ones love the idea of homework but the older kids are over it — the novelty of having to finish worksheets when the XBox is a few feet away, it gets old quick. If you can, set up a sort of well-stocked homework station for the young scholars. Make it bright and colorful, and make sure that all supplies are easily accessible. There should be enough room for them to actually do some work though so clear a spot amongst the many markers and highlighters.
What Will I Do All Day?
At the house, your preschooler was just rolling with whatever you had planned for the day. Even if they went to daycare, there was surely a loose schedule in place. But now that they’re starting ‘big kid’ school they may be feeling sort of intimidated. One thing that could help is if you try and explain the concept of a school schedule, breaking down the periods/subjects.
What If No One Likes Me?
Explain to your kid that school is primarily for learning but of course it’s fun to make friends in the process. Reassure them that they’re awesome to be around and the reasons why. Little ones love to hear how smart and funny you think they are. Just let them know that new people will feel the same.
What If I Don’t Know As Much As the Other Kids?
If your little ones are afraid that they may not be able to keep up in class, have them practice what they do know. From cutting shapes out of construction paper to creating stories. Or for the older ones, grab a practice workbook or two from a school supply store and have them run through what they learned last year.
Will I Get New Stuff Before?
Quite possibly the most fun part of heading to school is all the new ‘stuff’ your kids will be getting. From funky pencil pouches to new book bags and sneakers, keep your little one in the loop when you go shopping. If they can stand the lines, take them with you and let them pick out their own outfits and school supplies.
How Will I Know Where To Go?
A lot of schools offer an open house in the days before that first official day of classes. Take advantage of those events and be sure to bring your child with you. Sometimes the entire school isn’t accessible during open house but at least you guys can get in there and sort of see the lay of the land, maybe even meeting their teacher for the year.
Am I the Only One Feeling Like This?
This picture book by Julie Danneberg is a good one to read to the kiddos that week before school starts. Sometimes they tend to get wrapped up in their feelings to the extent of it all becoming overwhelming to them — that’s when you see those kids throwing tantrums the first day. This book will help assure them that they aren’t the other ones who’ve been nervous about starting school.
Who’ll Answer ‘Kid Questions’ for Me?
If you have an older child in the same school? Even better. It’s like having a hired tour guide/security guard/stand-in Mommy or Daddy! Explain to the both of them that they’re responsible for each other when the parents aren’t around but it’s on the older child to take the little one under his wing during these first few days of school.