If you are dreading the new school term because your little darling is starting school or nursery, worry no more. There are some great ways that you can help your child to settle in as easy as possible that will help to relieve your anxiety and your child’s stress. Whether or not you have prepared your child really well in advance, that first day always seems to come quicker than you thought and no matter what, you can never be totally sure of their reactions on the day. You can however be ready to handle any crying or upset to ease them into school the best you can, by having a ‘Goodbye Routine’. Before you make a plan of your routine, you really need to find out the schools policy on arrivals, as some children gather in the playground and some go into their classroom. If however you don’t know on the day just ask at the school office or your child’s teacher will tell you. These tried and tested tips will help you to make the transition easier for you and your child and settle them in the fastest easiest way you can.
1 Arrive in plenty of time and allow yourself time to settle your child into the playground or classroom as rushing around although unavoidable sometimes is not very helpful on their first day and can add to stress levels. Help them to hang up their coat and put their belongings away, if possible, although you may have to wave them off in the playground or at the door.
2 Say hello to their teacher and encourage your child to do the same, this will help your child to connect with another adult and help them to feel more secure. It is also important to gain acknowledgement that you have passed your child’s care over to the relevant person. In a few weeks or days, once your child has settled in and they are more confident, you will find that they will probably just go off to play with their friends instead when they arrive.
3 Do what everyone else does and if the other children are all sitting on the carpet waiting for the teacher or at their desks, encourage your child to do the same. If you are allowed into the cloakroom, help your child to take their coat off and hang it up, as all those pegs can be very daunting.
4 Say goodbye, give them a kiss a positive smile and leave quickly when it is time to leave, because if you stay should they cry you will accidentally reward the behaviour and they will soon realise the easy way to get to prolong your departure. I have settled hundreds of children into nursery or school (not all my own I must say) and have found that it is always best tell your child as opposed to sneaking off when they are not looking. That’s not to say that they won’t cry, but they will trust you more and learn the routine much easier and be more confident faster.
5 Pass them to a member of staff if they start to cry and don’t be afraid to ring the school in half an hour or so to ask if they have settled down. You can ring the school office to ask them to check with the teacher as there is no point you worrying all day when you can have your mind put at ease. You would be surprised how many parent’s do this, so don’t suffer and ruin your day, especially when your child is likely to have settled and be having a great time.
If you would like more information like this and ideas of how to cope with the first few weeks and staying involved with your child’s progress please stay tuned to my blog!