Penelope, our oldest, is starting school this year and she keeps making comments about being scared, not wanting to leave me all day, etc. I have been looking up ways to help her get excited and be ready! && maybe a few tips for me too! 😉 Hopefully this helps if you have an anxious little one! These could help for older children too, nervous to start a new grade or transferring to a new school!
(1.) Watch for signs that your child is nervous, they may not just come out and say it. But as school is mentioned and it gets closer they may start acting out more. They may become more clingy or whiney! It may be exhausting but let them let it out, in a healthy way, to an extent. Let them cry, let them be clingy! It helps get it out of their system before school actually starts. & It helps remind them you are a safe place in all of the changes and unknowns.
(2.) Start doing activities with your child at home that they will do in the classroom. Do Pretend Play! Pretend to be teacher and color and craft with them. Get them excited for the crafts they will do at school! Do a workbook together for their grade level! Helps boost their confidence!
We love these School Zone Books! They have different Grades and Lessons!
(3.) Talk about school often so they start adjusting to the idea!
(4.) Make sure to listen to your child when they express their concerns. It’s easy to reassure your child everything will be fun and good. But it’s important they feel heard and you can answer their questions such as, will you be there to pick them up after school, and it’ll put their mind more at ease!
(5.) Tell your child about your school days! How you were nervous until your met your best friend or something funny that happened!
(6.) If possible, let your child help pick out their backpack and school supplies! They will get excited to use their new items!
(7.) If your child has a hard time with good byes, create a fun “good bye” routine with them. Whether it’s a little handshake or dance ya’ll do or sing a little song before they get out of the car! Helps them feel connected and know what is coming next instead of leaving without a sad “good bye”.
(8.) Start getting into your “school routine” at least 2 weeks before school starts so it’s one less struggle and fight back on the first day of school!
(9.) For the first few days of school especially, make sure you are early to pick up. If they walk out and don’t see you it could cause more anxieties.
(10.) Get books that talk about school and the grade they are going into! The pictures and stories will help give them ideas of what schools look like and what they will be doing. In case they are imaging something else.
(11.) If your child is attached to start with, find time to give them a little extra cuddle time before school. It helps them feel connected and builds their confidence.
(12.) Practice the new things your child may be doing too! Such as if they will be taking their lunch, have a picnic before school with their lunch box so they can practice opening their lunch box, opening their sandwiches. Those little things they do throughout the day. It’ll help them feel more confident as the day goes by! Older kids can practice opening a lock that will be on their locker.
(13.) Schedule a tour of the school beforehand. See if you can meet the teacher! This will help you both feel more comfortable!
(14.) If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or lovey, you can let them take it in their backpack for comfort!
We love these Baby Jack Learning Loveys as a Comfort Lovey!
(15.) Find ways to start boosting their confidence in general! It helps all around! We got these Positive Affirmation Cards for our daughter and hung them on her mirror! They are simple great reminders!
(16.) Make sure to ask about how their day was!! Here are some great after school conversation starters! Get extra excited about the things they are happy to share! Validate their concerns! Tell them how excited you are to hear about a craft they did, what they did on the playground, etc when you pick them up. That helps them look forward to something at school and after!
(17.) I bought my daughter and I a Mama/Daughter necklace so if she gets scared or sad, she’ll have something to hold and know I’m there. They have bracelets (like below), or rocks for your pocket, or keychains for their backpacks like this too! Leave notes in their lunch boxes! Any little thing helps!
(18.) We held a Back to School Brunch for Penelope and her friends that are going to school too! We made fun School Themed Snacks and Breakfasts too! These really helped her get excited and realize we are getting closer to the first day!! The kids that are already in school can share fun stories and why they are excited to go back! It helps your anxious little one to see someone they look up to be ready!
(19.) Remember that teachers are experienced in children being nervous on the first day or having a hard time adjusting! Talk to their teachers if they seem to be having a harder time than “usual”. The teacher may have fun things your child can help with in the mornings so they look forward to going to class and makes them feel special.
Are your littles one excited about the school year to come? Do you have any tips to share with other parents too? Leave them in the comments below!!
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