Starting school is a big thing, not only for a child but for their entire family too. As parents, you may have a whole whirlwind of emotions circling you- and probably a few worries too. Which is perfectly normal. This is a huge change, and getting used to a new routine can certainly have it’s difficulties. To help settle both of your nerves during this important transition, Netmums has devised a list of top tips to help you along the way.
1. Get organised.
Arguably the most important tip of all, a little organisation can help ease your child into school life. Your child will be learning some valuable responsibility skills in the upcoming years; so getting them to pack their school bags the night before, help you out with making their packed lunch and telling them to put their dirty uniform in the wash are just some ways you can get them into that organised frame of mind.
2. Make sure they are well prepared.
Ensuring in advance that all of your child’s worries, such as going to the toilet on their own, putting their clothes on and opening their food packaging will be helpful. It’s also a good idea to familiarise your child with the school by taking visits and looking at photos on the school website or brochure. Other ideas include getting your children to practise putting on and taking off their uniform and folding it in preparation for PE lessons. It’s also beneficial to start getting your child to socialise and mix with different people- try get them used to talking to ‘safe’ adults or encourage them to ask questions in shops.
3. Ensure they get plenty of sleep.
Enforcing strict bed times during the school week is very important. Not only will this get your children into a regular routine, but it will mean you won’t be forcing a grumpy terror out of bed the following morning. On average, 4-year-olds need around 11 and a half hours of sleep each night. Make sure your child has a fair enough of relaxed and quiet weekends in the early days too whilst they’re just settling.
4. Be there to comfort them.
Your support to your children is vital. They may have worries, trival or otherwise, that can be resolved from your reassurance and help. It’s also worthy to let them know they can always talk to their teacher if they have anything they need help with at school. One idea is to share your own stories of school; reminding your child that everybody has worries sometimes, and that they are perfectly normal.
5. Leave for school in plenty of time.
If your child hasn’t had to understand the importance of punctuality until now, it’s important to express the urgency of being on time for school. By allowing plenty of time, you are sure to have a much calmer morning. Obviously, in family-life its not always so easy making it on time for that school bell. If traffic or a forgotten object holds you up, try not to get too worked up about it.