You knew this day would come. The day that you cut the apron strings that hold you and your child together. It is their first day of school. More than many other days, this can be a traumatic event for both the child and the parent. You are trusting someone else to care for your child. You often wonder, “How can one person give my child the attention that they need when there are 19 other children in the same room?”
Teachers are a special breed of individuals. They are trained to cultivate minds and experiences. Besides that, they work very hard to steer your child in the proper direction of learning and maturity. So rest assured, your child is in capable hands. If you or your child is having a tough time getting through this period of time, here are some suggestions to help.
Take your child to the school before they start. Take a day the week before the first day and visit the school. If the teacher is there, introduce yourself and talk to them. Don’t expect to do this on the first day. The teacher will be swamped. Visit the classroom. Point out to your child special and interesting things in the room.
Break off physical contact. Don’t hold or carry your child. Hold their hand as you enter the room. Once they find a toy or something interesting, release their hand. This is a special moment. If possible, find out where the child will sit and have them sit in the chair. If you get the chance, repeat this a few days later.
Email the teacher or phone them. They know what you are going through and might help you through this process. Attend meet the teacher night.
Take you child shopping for school. Have them pick out and put certain school supplies in the cart. Get them some new school clothes to wear. Especially get a good backpack. You might have to spend a little more, but it is worth it.
Practice getting the child to go to bed early and getting up at the proper time, at least two weeks before the start of school.
On an index card, write down contact information for parents, grandparents, doctors, dentists etc. The school office will appreciate this.
Get some extra help. Read articles in parent magazines about how to survive the first day.
Letting Go; Eventually the day will come, when you take your child and leave them for the first time. Avoid tear drops if at all possible. If you must cry, do it in the car. If you must hug or kiss, do it early and quickly. Avoid long contact on these things. Give them a smile and depart quickly, as if it is just another day.
When your child gets home that night, spend some time talking about their first day. It will help you both with this transition process. This is a very special time in your child’s life and yours as well.
ps. Don’t forget the father at work either. Call, email, or text him. He will being going through the same emotions as you are.