It’s time to get ready to go back to school. This is such a fun and exciting time. Everything is new… new clothes, new backpack, new school supplies. Some children get over excited about all this new and change. But, remember that not all children deal with change well. There are some children who will struggle with this change. They need extra reassurance about what is to come.
Families need to support their child through this change. One big way is for the adults to keep their own emotions level. As an early childhood teacher, and mother of 2 boys, I can tell you that children will adjust to going to school. They will be ok after you drop them off. How you as a parent deal with your own emotions of that first day will impact your child.
So, what do we need to do? Talk! Talk about what your child will do the first day. How will they get to school? What will they do next? Help them learn the name of their teacher(s). Practice greetings. Practice asking for help. Practice sitting and waiting. Practice raising their hand. Practice walking in a line.
And as a parent, practice saying good-bye. Practice keeping in the tears. Practice being the cheerleader and saying it is going to be fun and you will be ok. Then be ready to let go. Walk outside, get in your car and then you can have your emotional moment. It’s ok to feel sad, to see your little one growing up before your eyes. To feel nervous for your child. To wonder if they will find a friend. Will the teacher “get” my child? Will they remember to eat lunch and use their manners? This is all part of growing up. It’s part of seeing your child grow into the independent individual that will shape their future. It is one more step… and it is ok.
I promise you… your child will be ok. The teacher will help your child adjust. The teacher will calm the fears and dry the tears. Your child will be ok.