The first day of daycare, preschool, kindergarten can be very daunting for both the parent and the child. With summer break coming to an end, many families will be feeling a mix of emotions. With a little help, we can try to make the transition a little easier for you.
Here are our top tips to help with first day jitters!
- Get a school routine going from the start. Kids really benefit from a routine as it helps them to understand what to expect next, increases self-confidence, and builds healthy habits for the future. It'd be great to implement it a couple of days before school starts, if you can, to get them into the rhythm.
- Try to get organized and buy what your kiddo will need to start school (lunch box, water bottle, backpack, etc). Set them up for a great start to the year.
- Talk to your child about school and read them stories to help familiarize them with the process so it'll feel less intimidating. Check out the preschool/caregiver's home together and meet the teacher, if you can.
- Foster a sense of independence. They might only be little but it's never too early to encourage your child to manage small tasks. Maybe it's as simple as putting their shoes in the closet every day when they get home, or putting their snack bowl in the sink. Start small, and manageable to help increase their confidence and sense of accomplishment.
- Prepare for your kiddo's (and your!) separation anxiety! Especially after so much time spent together at home, it can be really difficult for little ones to branch out into the big wide world. It's totally normal and it'll ease over time. If they're really struggling, maybe let them bring their favorite toy with them to remind them of home, until they feel more secure/confident. They can't control their emotions so be patient and work with them.
- Don't sweat the small stuff! There'll be good days and bad days and that's ok. And just because summer break is nearly over, doesn't mean the fun should be too! Trips to the pool, playdates with friends and ice cream at the park don't need to end. Keep having fun! If the last 18 months has taught us anything, it's that life is unpredictable. Enjoy every minute of it!