Tips For A Stress Free Start To The School Year

Thursday, 13.08.2015 at 02:33PM

Starting school is a big step for any child but there are several ways to help them feel more comfortable. With September looming, we've put together a list of our top tips on how to help support your child in those nerve-racking days before school begins, on the first day and as they settle in to their new routine.




Before school starts

1 - Get used to the new schedules: After the lie-ins and late summer evenings, your child needs to find a new rhythm. A few days before school starts, move his bedtime and wake-up time to suit the school day.

2 - Talk about what they can expect: In the days before the big day, explain to your child about school rules, routines and schedules so they know what to expect. Assure them that the teacher is there to help, and that you will be there at the end of every day to talk to them. Tell him he will make new friends, discover new activities, learn things that will help him to grow. You could even tell them a bit about your own experiences at school.

3 - Get organised: Make sure you've got everything they need in time for your child's first day. Include them in decision making processes - even if it's just choosing a lunchbox - to get them excited about starting school. Label their clothes and show them where the label is, so they can check it themselves.

On their first day

4 - Be prepared: Ensure everything is ready the night before and leave yourself enough time in the morning to enjoy the day, rather than rushing to get out of the door. Take time to snap a picture of the school starter on their very first day as a keepsake.

5 – Reassurance: Reassure your little one that you will be returning to pick them up in a few hours' time to hear all about their big day, and make them aware that the teacher is there to help, if they need it.

Settling in 

6 - Make sure they get plenty of rest: Starting school is a big step and a huge change to a child's routine. Ensure that you are strict with bedtimes, as you don't want them to be tired and grumpy in the classroom the next day.

7 - Stay organised: The first few weeks of school are hectic enough, so get into the habit of preparing everything you need the night before. Young children don't have a great sense of urgency, so getting them up in time to get them ready - without having to panic and rush them out of the house will help things run smoothly.

9 - Let them make friends: Children build relationships naturally, so let this process happen. Organise 'play dates', but don't try to force him or her to be friends with someone they don't naturally bond with.

10 - Keep talking: Set some time aside each day to ask about how school is going. Keep your questions simple and try to build up a good picture of what life at school is like, and if they are happy with it. Ensure they know to talk to a teacher if something is making them unhappy in class.