10 Tips for the First Day Back to School For many children, the first day of school is filled with anxiety and fear. Use these tips to help ease their transition. BY DIANE GOTTSMAN
The first day of school can be stressful for all parties involved, but it doesn't have to be.
“ Set the table the night before and sit down together to eat breakfast. Attempting to slow down the pace on a busy morning will relax your child and give them time to ask you questions…”
For many couples, it’s common to feel both excited and a little apprehensive at the start of a new school year, especially if your child is attending a new school. Although your child’s jitters will soon pass, preparing for the school year in advance will allow your child to feel more at ease and in control. Use these 10 tips to help them feel more comfortable on their first day.
1. Scout the route. Before school starts, take a walk or drive by the school and let your child see the route you both will be traveling each morning and afternoon. Point out the school office, the library and any other areas of the school that you can see from the street. Try guessing which classroom your child may be in and talk about what he or she may be learning this upcoming school year.
2. Start a trend of going to bed earlier every day of the week. It will be easier to fall asleep the night before the first day of school if your child has already established a habit of an earlier bedtime.
3. Visit the school website. Spend some time with your child reviewing the cafeteria menu, supply list, teacher roster and anything and everything else that may catch your child’s attention.
4. Make friends. If your child will be new to the school, call the school office a few weeks ahead and request a phone call or visit from a host family. Invite the family over for a casual dinner or dessert so your child will know a familiar face before the first day of school.
5. Don’t skip the open house. Attending this informative event is essential in order to learn what will be expected from you as parents, as well as your child, this upcoming year.
6. Get your child’s school clothes ready a week prior to the first day of school. Whether your child wears a uniform or regular clothing, have their clothes clean, ironed and ready to go. Every second counts on such a hectic morning.
7. No loitering on the first day. Walk your child to the door, help them locate their desk and lunch cubby, kiss them on the cheek and say goodbye. Avoid the urge to circle back and peer through the window to see how your child is doing. It makes it much harder on your child to say goodbye the second time around.
8. Help your child find the restroom. It’s important for a child to know where key locations are and the bathroom is top on this list.
9. Make a special breakfast. Plan a special "First Day of School" menu with your child and offer a selection of healthy choices. Set the table the night before and sit down together to eat breakfast. Attempting to slow down the pace on a busy morning will relax your child and give them time to ask you questions or discuss fears.
10. Assure your child that everyone gets a little nervous on the first day of school. Talk about what other children are probably feeling and how the feeling will pass very soon. Remind them that you will see them in the afternoon and how you will look forward to hearing all about their day.
After you drop off your child, relax and enjoy a second cup of coffee before starting your own day… you deserve it!
Diane Gottsman, a nationally recognized etiquette expert, is the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in etiquette training for corporations, universities and individuals, striving to polish their interpersonal skills. You can reach Diane at 877-490-1077 or www.protocolschooloftexas.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @: www.twitter.com/DianeGottsman.