Parenthood is full of milestones and your child starting school is a big one. One minute you have a baby in your arms and the next you’re packing a lunchbox and sending them to prep!
It’s a huge adjustment and it’s important to prepare your child (and yourself) for the myriad of emotions you might experience – excitement, trepidation, joy, sadness, nervousness and pride.
It’s also important to get practical and ensure your child is equipped with the tools they need to look after themselves during the school day.
Like most things, preparation is key. Easing both your child and yourself into the new routine of school will make the transition a lot easier.
Here are a few handy ways you can get ready for the first day of school:
1. Do a trial trip.
Before the term starts, familiarise your child with the school and its surroundings. If you’re planning to cycle or walk to school, do a trial run so you can time the route (and scope out a coffee shop on the way for a pre-school latte/hot chocolate). It might have been a while since your child did their official orientation, so getting them used to the environment (even if it’s only peeking through the school gates) will make it less daunting when school starts.
2. Talk about how life will change.
My son has been in daycare three times a week since he was 12 months old. Still, it’s a big leap to attending school. Talk to your child about when school will start and finish, reassure them that you will be there to pick them up and chat about how much fun it will be getting to know their teacher and new friends. Keep the conversations positive but also let your child know they can talk to you about anything that might be worrying them.