Very soon, the children will go back to school under the emotional eyes of their parents. Even with all the goodwill in the world, the stress of the first day of school remains indelible. Parents are not immune to this. They, too, are subject to real anxiety and the origins are many. If you are one of that 87% of anxious parents, relativism and cunning will be your best friends. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our best tips to reduce your anxiety when dropping your kids at school for the first time.
1. Talk about school in a positive way
Your child, as tall as three apples, will finally taste the joys of school. The first alphabet exercises, the spirit of camaraderie, the magic coloring pages… this world made of paper mache is completely unknown to children. That’s why it’s important to get the subject on the table. If your child has already had the experience of daycare, this community life is more easily accessible. On the other hand, in the intimate setting of a nanny, this confrontation with others can be frightening. It is up to you to give your child confidence.
By using positive language, you can reassure your child about this mysterious world. Avoid anxiety-provoking phrases such as “school is hard” or “always look after your things”. Make your child want to go to school, even if he/she forgets you. When the day comes, the separation will be under the best auspices because you will have prepared for it together.
2. Lighten your schedule
Meetings can wait. Your child’s first day of school should be at the top of your agenda. Underlined in a thousand colors on your calendar and engraved in capital letters in your phone reminders, this date does not go unnoticed. If you have the opportunity, take a day off for your first day of school. This will prevent you from running around and forgetting important things like a pencil case. By leaving out all the clutter in your schedule, you’ll stay focused on the essentials.
Instead of starting a race against the clock punctuated by “hurry up, we’ll be late”, you take the road to school in a relaxed atmosphere. The same goes for your child. It would be wrong to overload him with extracurricular activities from the start. Piano, drawing, swimming, and gymnastics… will be added to the priorities later.
3. Share breakfast with your child
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This sentence, proclaimed by former students, applies to children as well as parents. Breakfast, often eaten on the run because of a knotted stomach, is nevertheless a family bond. Anxious parents will have to make some space in their throat to share this morning moment with their toddler. Around a bowl of cereal or a slice of jam, initiate the dialogue.
Don’t let the theme song from “Miraculous” or “Peppa Pig” overtake your words. Ask questions to take the temperature. “How do you feel about this first day?”, “Are you looking forward to meeting your classmates?”, “How do you picture your teacher?”. There is no need to turn into a police interrogation, the goal here is to gently put your child in the bath.
4. Trust the teachers
For the first day of school, parents are often tempted to slip a piece of clothing impregnated with their scent or a small photo of their head in their child’s school bag. The teacher will have enough trouble managing the “I want mom and/or dad”. But you’d better not…
It is not worth adding a layer with these objects that would only reinforce the lack. The adults at the school already have experience and know how to handle children’s worries. The harmonious crying of 25 students is part of their routine for them. So leave school with a light heart and tell yourself that patience is the key word for teachers.
5. Channel your emotions
There you are, in front of the school, your child’s hand is firmly attached to yours, as if the glue had sealed them together. The moment those little pudgy fingers come off, it’s time to say goodbye. For parents and children alike, this moment arouses a strong emotion, difficult to control.
And when crocodile tears come to fill your little one’s eyes, your protective side takes over. However, by crying in your turn or by delaying the separation, you amplify the future frustrations of your child. This time, you’ll have to take it easy. To all anxious parents, to make this first day a joyful one, leave discreetly as soon as your child has settled in.
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