Starting school can be an exciting time. It can also be a time filled with anxiety and questions, especially for parents. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your child for school and alleviate lingering concerns that you might have as a parent.
- Drive by the school
Once your family has selected a school, start driving by before day one.
As you go by, point it out excitedly and speaking positively about the upcoming change. You can also reminisce about your experiences at school, allaying any apprehensions you might be sensing.
Tip: It may be most helpful to simply state facts. “This is your new school.”
- Schedule a time to visit the school ahead of time.
Familiarize you and your child with this new setting. How can you do this? Set up a time to visit the school with your child to get acquainted. Encourage your child to envision themselves in the classroom and among new peers.
Questions to ask: Consider asking questions that will relate directly to your child’s familiarity with the new environment: Can you show us where my child’s cubby is? Can you show us where the restrooms are? Anything that will directly relate to their new experience.
- Set up a time to meet with your child’s teacher.
Alongside a visit to the school, it can be helpful to schedule a time for your child to meet with their new teacher. Not only will this offer them the opportunity to say hello and familiarize themselves with the classroom, it will allow you the opportunity to ask any questions. Take time to get to know your teacher, as it will be comforting to you to know who will be spending time with your child, and it will comfort your child to have a familiar face when she arrives for her first day.
Questions to ask: Consider reversing the roles and asking the teacher how you can help support their efforts in coming to better understand your child.
- Talk Positively
Of all the recommendations, perhaps the most helpful is to think and talk positivity about school. Both you and your child may be feeling a wide range of emotions, but it’s important to stay positive, excited and confident. This is a special time for your family! Talk about it often, ask your child questions and enjoy this special transition in your family’s life.