Preparing for Child’s First Day of School

Preparing for Child’s First Day of School

Jun 10, 2020Joey Cipriano

          If you’ve already been through this routine a few times, you’re probably jumping for joy at the idea of the first day of school. The sound of your kids dreading the idea of having to get up early in the morning and spending hours in school is probably music to your ears.

          But what if this is your first time with your first child? The first day of school can be an exciting day for them and an extremely emotional day for you. There will likely be a lot of tears and a ton of pictures, and then will come the dreaded separation anxiety for some parents. But long before the school bell rings for their first day and you shed the first tears, it’s important to prepare your child, and probably yourself, for the long stretch of the school year.

First Day of School Checklist

  • Read with your Child and Read Often - Giving your child an appreciation for books and reading will give them a great foundation for when they finally start school. They’ll look forward to storytime with their teachers, trips to the library, and look forward to reading with you at night. Science has shown there are countless benefits to reading to children, even when they’re teens!

  • Take a Visit to the School - Spending the day in a strange place for a few hours is likely going to be a bit scary for your child, unless they’re super excited to be away from mom and dad. If the school gives you an opportunity to visit before the school year starts, take advantage of it. Visit with your child’s teacher, let them see their future classroom, and give them a tour of their new school. Of course, if there’s a playground, make sure to show that off too.
  • Walk to School a Few Times - If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance to your child’s school, take a few practice walks to the school so they can get used to it before they have to suddenly start doing it on the first day. They can become familiar with the neighborhood and the streets and you can use it as a teachable moment to help them learn street safety.
  • Talk to Your Child and Ask How They’re Feeling - Having open and real communication with your child is going to be important as soon as they start school. If they’re nervous, ask them what they’re nervous about and reassure them everything will be okay. And once the first day of school is over, make sure to ask them how their day was and get them used to engaging with you after school so they know they can always communicate with you about anything and everything.

  • Take a Moment and Check Yourself - Watching your child grow up and start doing the things other children their age do is going to be emotional for you. Weeks before the big day comes, you may be far more emotional than your child at the idea of having to let them go for a few hours a day. Make sure to take some time to get yourself mentally prepared for the day. Talk to your spouse or a close friend or family member who has already been through it if you need support. Avoid showing how upset you are to your child as it might make the first day of school difficult for them. Remember: No matter how much you may want to keep them home, kids grow up and will become grown ups.

  • Get a Sleeping Routine Down - The worst part about going to school for most kids is having to get up so early in the morning. But a well rested child will do much better in school than a kid who doesn’t sleep well. Make sure to get your son or daughter to bed at a reasonable hour so they get enough rest for the first day of school.
  • Pack Their Lunch Ahead of Time - If you’ve decided not to pay for school lunches or you prefer knowing exactly what your child is eating at school, it’s a good idea to prep their lunch the night before. This allows you to grab it from the fridge, put it in their lunch bag or backpack, and be on your way much faster than having to prep it in the morning. Make sure to pack something nutritious for them and avoid too many sugars.

  • Prep their Backpack the Night Before - With the hussle and bussle in the morning getting breakfast made, picking an outfit, and getting your new student properly groomed, packing the backpack is often the last thing on the list. If you drove like a mad person shopping for all of the school supplies they needed just to have it ready for the first day, make sure it’s all in the bag. Or, you could save yourself a ton of time and money by shopping with School Supply Boxes and order everything you need at home so you can spend more precious time with your little one. But maybe you like dealing with traffic and rude shoppers. Hey, we’re not gonna judge you.

  • Don’t Linger at the Drop Off - It sounds cruel, but don’t take too long wishing your child a good day at school. The quicker you get them started with their day, the easier it will be for you, and the sooner you can drive away and cry all day long until they get home. Come on. You know you are. No parking down the road like a crazy stalker to pick them up as soon as the bell rings. Go home. Do something productive. They’re going to be okay.

  • Ask Them About Their Day - Once the day is finally over and you’ve picked them up from school, talk to your child and ask them about their day. Ask engaging questions like “What did you learn today” or “Did you do anything fun?” Get them used to talking about their day and pay attention to how they interact. Open communication with your child is a great way to learn more about their day, if they’re enjoying themselves or need help, or if something maybe wrong that needs to be addressed.

          If you have any first day of school tips for new parents and want to share them, leave a comment below and be part of the conversation!

More articles

Comments (0)

There are no comments for this article. Be the first one to leave a message!

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published