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How to Prepare for the First Day of School

Check out these tips to help your family be ready for the first day of school.

Britax - Back to School Blog

Believe it or not, summer is coming to an end and it's time to start thinking about the upcoming school year! If you're a seasoned parent, you know the drill. But, if your little one is starting school this year, you’re just now getting mentally prepared to send your baby off to school for the first time. This transition can be overwhelming, exciting, scary, stressful and joyful—all at the same time. As a parent, it can be difficult to let go, and for a child, it can be hard to spend the day without mom and dad. There are ways you can prepare for your little one’s first day of school so it runs more smoothly.

Keep a Positive Tone

When you talk to your child about starting school, always try to keep a happy, positive tone. This helps them associate school with joy and excitement rather than nerves and stress. Hold back the tears a little longer when you leave on that first day. If your child sees that you’re sad, they may associate your negative emotions with school itself.

Create a Routine

Kids are used to daily routines, so it helps to create new rituals that revolve around their school schedules. Come up with a special “goodbye for now” high-five and “hello again” hug, so your little one always knows you are coming back at the end of each day.

Meet the Teacher

If at all possible, attend an open house or meet-and-greet before the first day of school. You child will feel more comfortable after meeting their teacher, and seeing you interact. This lets them know that their teacher is a friend who can be trusted. It will also put you at ease knowing you’ve met the person who will be spending time with your little one.

Pack Lunch Together

Doing fun things together to prepare for school can get your child in the right frame of mind. Pack a special lunch or snack so they have a reminder of you throughout the day. Let them pick out their favorite lunchbox to take into school for the first day.

Play Pretend School

Kids love playing pretend. Set up a school-like environment in your own home one day. Go through the motions and activities your child will actually experience on a normal day at school. This will get your little one prepared for what’s to come.

Encourage Communication

It’s normal for you and your child to feel some anxiety about parting ways, even for a short period of time. Be sure to keep your lines of communication as open as possible. While your child may be too little to communicate their feelings, look for body language and subtle cues to gauge how they are feeling about school.

Nobody looks forward to dropping their child off at school for the first time. But if you look at it as a positive experience, it will be easier for everyone. Be sure to arrive early the first day to give your little one plenty of time to settle in and get comfortable. Do you have any tips or advice that helped you and your child prepare for the first day of school? We’d love to hear about it! Visit us on Facebook to share your stories and help other parents get ready for the transition.