Mr 6 is off to start a new year of school tomorrow. There is a myriad of articles and blog posts to help parents reduce anxiety for their kids starting school. However there doesn’t seem to a whole lot of tips for the parents.
It’s a pretty big deal when our babies head off to big school. I thought with Mr 6 having been at daycare that I wouldn’t be emotional about him starting school. How wrong I was.
This year, our second year I am looking forward to the things that he will learn, but the anxiety has popped up again in the last few days. These are the things I did last year to help reduce my anxiety about Mr 6 starting school.
- Get to know your child’s teacher and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your child is going to be spending a lot of time with this person over the next 40 or so weeks. Introduce yourself on the first day and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. I am sure they have heard all of the questions, and have dealt with anxious parents before. Mr 6 had a really great teaching team last year who helped to alleviate a lot of my fears about him starting.
- Get to know other school mums. I think that the school gate politics gets a bit of a bad wrap sometimes. The other school mums, some who have older children in the school, can be a wealth of information and support. If you have a child like Mr 6 who seems to promptly forget everything they did that day, it’s also good to chat to other mums about what the kids are up to.
- Organise things to keep you busy the first week. If you are a stay at home mum like me, it might seem very quiet in your house during that first week. I think I spent most of the first day watching the clock to see how long until it was time to pick Mr 6 up and find out how his first day went. Keeping busy will help take your mind off all of the ‘what if’ anxiety that more often than not never eventuates.
- If you are worried, speak to your child’s teacher. One downside to the school gate is that if you have concerns about your child already, discussion about what kids are doing at school can exacerbate these fears. Sometimes as parents we worry about things that aren’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I also learnt that what Mr 6 did at school with his friends (when it came to learning) was often different to what he did at home when there were more distractions. If you are worried, talk to your child’s teacher. They generally have a better idea of when to worry and where your child should be academically.
- Check to see if your child’s school has a Facebook page. A school Facebook page is a great way to keep up with what the school is up to. It’s also a great resource for reminders about special days at school, excursions and fundraisers. You can feel like you’re really out of the loop when you turn up at school to find everyone else has their child in costume!
- They really will be OK. Most kids are absolutely fine at school. Be confident in your parenting, that they will share with you if there is issues. I know how hard it is to be away from your child, and them be in an environment that seems so grown up! Breathe, you can make it.
Have you got a child starting school this year?
Do you remember your own first day of school?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT!