It has just passed the time of year where you apply and receive your offers for Kindergarten. For a parent, this marks a significant step in their little one's life, but for the parent who is doing this all for the first time, it is such an emotional and daunting time. Your oldest (or only) child is making their first step into education, and you don’t know how to feel. Even if your child has been in daycare, it is still the step from play into full-time education.
Most of us don’t remember the very first day we step into a classroom which can make it harder – will they feel scared, or apprehensive? Possibly, but before long they will be settled into the routine and teaching you new things.
Make sure they are relaxed the night before
Chances are, they will be a little over excited, or nervous the night before starting school. As parents, many of us have established routines for the evening portion of the day. It can be a good idea to start this regime a bit earlier, as it might take a little longer for your child to get settled if they are already thinking about getting up in the morning. A nice bubble bath, combined with new ‘big school girl/boy’ pajamas can help with reassurance. Despite focusing on the ‘you’re a bit more grown up now’ line – it’s not the time to take away comfort blankets or teddies.
Walk them to the school bus
If possible, have you or someone they know walk them to the school bus pick up. It can be nerve-wracking handing your child over to the care of a bus driver, but they are well trained in driving the route and dealing with kids. If you are the type whose anxieties are abated by reading up online, look up the sort of help after a bus crash you can get. It goes up there with googling vitamin deficiencies every time your child doesn't finish all their vegetables, but it comes with the territory of being a parent.
Pack a nice lunch
If they have never been out of your care for a whole day before, it can be hard not knowing what exactly they have eaten (or, sometimes more to the point, how they have acted) at a meal time. Packing a nice lunch that you know they will eat while being nutritious eases any worries. They will burn off a lot of energy in the new environment, so an after school snack might be an idea as well.
Expect a painting
The first day of school is a lot about settling in, and for the teacher to learn a bit about your child while having fun. You may end up with a painting or other craft to commemorate the day. Something to proudly display on the refrigerator. Although, depending on how it looks, you might have to prep visitors on the actual meaning behind the drawing!
So there you go, some ways to survive the next stage of parenting life!