When you get ready to send you first child of to school it can be as early as pre-school but for some of us the big transition for most families is when a child goes to Kindergarten. So for me I went through this life change as a parent last week. This is my second child and with both children I have gotten some advice on how to prepare them and myself for their first big day at school.
So most kids as the first day of kindergarten gets closer they will start to be excited and nervous. As any good parent my desire was to not only prepare them but alleviate the stress somewhat.
1. Read about School: Before Zara went to Kindergarten a friend of her Co-Op preschool gave us a book called “The Night before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing.” And I remember the Bernestain Bears book, “Go to School” and I got this as well. As we read the poem and story of sister Bear I was able to see Zara relax a bit as she realized the nervousness she was feeling about school was something that most people go through.
2. Take them School Shopping: Taking Allegra school shopping a few weeks before the start date and before the nerves started in we printed out the supply list and went to the store. As we walked through the aisles, she had a great deal of fun choosing her supplies and imaging to me what school would be like.
3. Tell your story: I have found children whether in my practice or my own love to hear our stories. I shared with my girls the story of how I felt on my first day of school. I also told them that I cried through the first photo day I cried in my picture.
4. Start getting them ready for school bedtime at the correct time almost a week ahead of time. So, we put our girls to bed at 8pm during school and we started 7 days ahead by getting them up at the time they would have to eat day 6am. By just waking them at this time they started naturally being sleeping closer to the 8pm time.
5. Get them to help you pack their lunch: So having something in their lunch they are looking forward to in the day helps them break up the nerves a little bit and it also teaches responsibility for themselves by being part of the family team and shouldering some of the work.
With these few items we did to prepare and I can’t tell you that it alleviated all the tears but it does help tremendously and we have had a pretty smooth transition for our little one. By the way most of the tears were mine.