Is your child starting at a new school this year? We feel their anxiety. The beginning of the school year can be nerve-wracking for kids who aren’t even moving to a new school. They must get familiar with unfamiliar spaces and faces. Plus, they’ll face plenty of talking and introductions. Meeting other people can cause anxiety for some adults—let alone kids. It’s beneficial for you and your children to learn tips to ensure they’ll have a successful first day, week, and year.
Before the first day, tour the school with your child. That way, they’ll at least have basic knowledge of the layout of the school grounds. Also, attempt to meet as many of your child’s teachers as possible on registration day, which will give you and them a chance to ask any questions. Kids would then be able to confidently say, “Hello!” when entering class.
You might’ve been in the neighborhood a little while before your child’s first school day. If that’s the case, your child might already know at least one kid that might attend their school. However, you can also ask the school to match your child with another student who isn’t new. That way, that student can show your child around and make them feel like they belong. Your child might even make a new lunch buddy!
It’s a good idea to ensure your kids meet established students. However, also consider finding other new kids they can befriend, too. The new school might have a club for new kids, where your child can meet new friends. This type of club is a reminder that they don’t have to be alone—other kids are going through the same thing they’re going through.
A great way to make new friends is through a common interest. Joining a club is a great place to start, whether your kid is into chess or choir. Make sure to have all available information before signing them up so that you know the days your kid might need to stay after school. Plus, certain clubs might come with a fee, or you’ll need to buy kids’ clothes or supplies so your kids can properly participate.
Before heading to school, your kid might want to try mindfulness techniques. This way, they can calm their nerves instead of operating on anxiety. They can try so many techniques—check the internet for ideas. Saying positive affirmations is simple enough; they can come up with their own and say them in front of a mirror or with you. There are also plenty of breathing techniques your kids can try—which might also help them if facing a difficult situation in school. If they’re not feeling their best, find ways to help them feel the best they can. Make sure your kids are as positive as possible before heading out the door.
Let’s be honest—kids, even the youngest learners, care a lot about their appearance. Therefore, an updated wardrobe will allow them to look and feel their best. Typical kid-friendly apparel pieces include kids’ jeans, graphic T-shirts, and hoodies. However, make sure you’re aware of the dress code and school uniform policies. Additionally, ensure they’re as prepared as possible for their classes with backpacks, a range of supplies, and anything else you’re anticipating they’ll need.
For the first day or random days throughout the year, pack a special lunch for your child. What are their favorite foods, treats, and drinks? Make sure they have something that’ll bring them happiness midway through the school day. Plus, add a special note in your kids' lunch box or box featuring words of encouragement.
Ask your child about their first day. How did it go? Did they meet any cool new people? Are you excited for the remainder of the week, or are you still nervous? Let your child share their feelings. Then, figure out how to resolve any issues they might still be encountering.
The night before the first day of school might be one of the most difficult nights for falling asleep due to all the excitement. Try to ensure they’re getting enough sleep, so they’re well-rested before heading off to school. Wash or update their fleece blankets and pillows, so they’re as cozy as possible. Make sure they’re wearing their favorite kids’ pajamas. Turn off all electronics to help them fall asleep better. Look up any other tips on the internet to elevate their sleep experience.
There are plenty of other ways to ensure your child has a successful first day—and year—at their new school. Many parents have faced this tough situation, so finding a community online to get tips may be helpful. Many people love swapping stories to ensure the success of others. Most of all, be your child’s champion so they’ll be as confident as possible!