10 Tips for Starting School | Life Love and Hiccups: 10 Tips for Starting School
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Thursday, 22 January 2015

10 Tips for Starting School

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So many of you guys have little ones starting school this year. How are you feeling?

Although it has been two years now since my youngest started school, I can still remember his first day like it was yesterday and how the butterflies and anxiety knotted in my stomach and wreaked havoc on my emotions in the week before hand.

Granted, I am a major sook and I tend to get over emotional at pretty much anything, but my boy's first day at school and even my oldest's first day at high school last year was probably one of the more emotional experiences in my life to date.

It's not just the thought of sending our babies out into the care of someone else for the day that has the power to tie your stomach in knots, the thought of your little one missing you, or feeling alone is totally enough to send you into a jittery blubbering heap.

And then there's the nerves many of us feel ourselves at the prospect of meeting so many new parents ourselves and figuring out how to juggle it all and adjust to new routines.

Its a big thing you guys,

HUGE.

But I promise you, you and them will have this down pat in no time at all.

Whilst personally I am sooo ready for my boys to go back to school this year, I thought I would put together a list  of 10 tips to help our newbies find their feet with this whole starting school thing.

1. Get plenty of sleep in the week before. Nothing exacerbates tears and emotions quite like being tired does, so make sure your little one gets plenty of rest ... and you too for that matter.

2. Have a practise run with the lunch box for the few days leading up to school. Guide your child as to what they should eat at fruit break, recess and lunch. And don't forget to use child friendly packaging that your little one can open by themselves without any troubles.

3. The day before school starts, test run the morning routine. There is so much to think about on the first day and even little things like seeing your child with the uniform is enough to send you into floods of tears -  so get it over with the day before the big day .

4. If possible, visit the school before the first day. You will probably have already done this on orientation day, but go again together so that you can wander around, point out the bathroom and talk about how the first day may pan out.

5. Be enthusiastic about your child starting school, but don't build it up too much. There is a point that talking about it too much could actually cause it to become overwhelming. Most importantly try not to show your nerves to your little one, as they feed off how we are feeling and acting.

6. Consider a buddy bangle or a little crystal each - one for you and one for your child to wear or keep in their pocket or school bag. It is just a little something to help them feel like you are still with them until pick up time.

7. On the actual day, be kind to yourself. If possible plan to take the morning off so that you can stay with your child until the bell goes and then take yourself off for a coffee with a friend or treat yourself to something special. Most importantly - let the tears flow if they want to, it's a big thing you are going through and it is totally OK to cry.

8. Say hello to the other Mums and Dads. This can be a tough one for the shy ones among us, but some of those hellos on your child's first morning at school, could end up being the beginning of life long friendships. If you are really nervous, maybe look for another Mum or Dad standing on their own and reach out to them. Not only will you be a welcome friendly face for them, it will have the added bonus of distracting yourself from your own nerves.

9. Say your goodbyes quickly and go. Yep hard as it is, when the time comes for you to go, give your child a confident hug and walk away... do not look back. There is nothing to be gained from your child seeing you reluctant to leave or even worse - you seeing your child become upset.
It is hard, I know, but the less fuss the better for you both.

10. Celebrate the first day with a special dinner that night. Encourage your child to talk about all the good things from the day and the things they are most looking forward to when they go back again tomorrow.

Some kids (including one of mine) was all "what do you mean I have to go back tomorrow? I've done school! I went like you asked me to .. moving on now".

Focusing on all the exciting fun parts will help to get through the rest of the first week and from there, I promise you... it does get easier.

Do you have any other tips you can share for our school newbies?
Do you have a little one starting this year? How are you feeling?