First Days of School Tips:

If your child cries when you leave them, do not panic. The teacher will advise you what to do and is very experienced. Never ever disappear; always tell your child you are going and that you will be back. It is hard to leave but go and ask to be informed when your child has settled.  You will be surprised how quickly they recover with the distraction of other children. Usually tears last between five to ten minutes for the first day or two. Certainly within a week you should find your child has settled. A final word: be early at pick up time as it is very stressful for a child not to see the parent immediately. Tell your child you are taking them for a juice after collection so they have something special to look forward to. Lots of reassurance and love helps in the early days.

Your child’s First Day of School

If it is your first child starting school, you may be kept busy with smaller children, but when your last child starts school it can be emotional for a parent. Think in advance about this, are you going to increase your work hours, or indeed return to work? Perhaps, you have an opportunity to take up a hobby or interest. Join a club, or a class that interests you. Joining a School Committee offers support and valuable contacts in the years ahead.

In Advance of First day Tips:

  • Talk through the new routine in advance
  • Visit the school in advance
  • Pull back bedtimes/getting up earlier a week before
  • Make it easy for your child: Velcro runners, no tights, elasticised waists
  • Label everything
  • Get your child into uniform before the big day
  • Easy to open lunchbox & shoulder strap bag
  • Order subsidised milk through school; it’s healthy & no bag spills
  • Keep drinks in a plastic bag in the outside pouch.

On the Day:

  • Bed early, up early, be organised with uniform/shoes ready
  • Box of raisins or 10 grapes for ‘little break’
  • Small lunch for ‘big break’, with quartered sandwich
  • Leave lots of time to get to school
  • Relax and don’t fuss in the classroom
  • The calmer you are, the calmer they will be
  • If they are happy, don’t look for problems
  • If there are tears, be led by the teachers expertise
  • Remember, teacher will advise if child is not settling
  • Do not overstay on the first day; 3-5 minutes is enough
  • Allow extra time the first week as hurrying creates stress for all
  • Tell your child you are going and that you will be back
  • Meet a friend for coffee on the first day as it’s emotional for you too!
  • Be early for pick up, or it is very stressful for a child
  • Bed early, up earlier, be organised = Calm mornings!
  • For more on Better School Mornings: