Is one of your children starting school for the first time this year? I think sometimes preparing kids for their first years of school can be more scary for the Mums than the kids. They are excited and ready to explore the world around them. In order for them to feel confident and ready you need to set an example and also be confident in the changes happening.
For those of you who have had children go off to daycare then the separation factor should not be an issue. Anyone wanting to give their child some short term separation to get ready for big kid school now is the time to send them off for a few weeks of daycare at least. If your child is not clingy then you have nothing to worry about.
Let your child be part involved in shopping for school books and uniforms. Let them pick out their own backpack and hat. Let them make decisions so they get excited about all their new stuff as well as the new school environment. Make sure they know that these special new things are for their new schooling life.
Talk to them positively about getting bigger and all the things they will get to do at school, all the new things they will learn and the new people they will get to play with.
The First Day
From the very first day you need to set boundaries. If your child has trouble letting you go then stay for 10 minutes help with bag and snacks, set them up with something to play with or a book to read and the kiss them goodbye and let them know you will be back to pick them up. You need to be consistent, don’t stay two more minutes thinking they will be okay after that, be firm yet gentle and tell them you must go because school is for students and not for Mummies. Remember the school has done this many times before and they can handle your child. You need to keep yourself in check. Take lots of tissues but try and save the tears for the car!
After the first day things will get easier for you but not necessarily for your child, they will need a settling period. Continue to stay but only for 10 minutes and don’t stay longer this will only confuse them. Make sure you are bubbly and happy to see them and ask all about their day when you pick them up. Let your child know what they are doing is really grown up and how happy you are for them being big kids.
For every new child you send off to the first day at school it will be easier for them. The second and subsequent children will know the environment from taking older siblings to and from school. For the Mummies however I am afraid you will always feel the same. Your little one is off to school but be strong and don’t let them look back.