My little boy had spent the 3 years learning from me and our family values. The moment had arrived where he starts his school adventure in unchartered territory. We walked through the gates of his school as he gripped my pinky finger so tight, it could break off and as he clung to me like a leech, I could almost feel my blood sucked out. I leaned down to my 3-year-old as I swept his hair across his angel face, building his self-confidence as i set him up for a good start. It was a feeling of Deja Vous. I have been in this spot not too long ago with my oldest and learned that this journey has allowed him to grow wings, yet the jitters chased me. Whether a veteran or a rookie this is a difficult and mixed emotion as a parent to get to grips with. But this time around I felt I was readier than my first experience, hence I was able to mentally prepare my little one in advance and limit his and my potential for tears. The first day went smooth and drama-free and was an enjoyable one.
A few things I did at home to prepare my child were:
- I discussed my happy memories of school and got my oldest to discuss his and the exciting part of making new friends
- I discussed his anxieties and encouraged him with stories of how his older brother overcame his challenges.
- I read story books and enjoyed putting together board puzzles with my boy
- I used pretend play by making school time look fun and exciting. The both of us took turns in being teacher and student.
- I involved my boy in the shopping process of picking his school essentials and planning his snack.
- Established a bedtime routine in advance so he would wake up fresh and well rested to meet his crucial day
The one thing I did not do(I wish I did) was check on my boy’s medical and dental records to make sure they were up to date, so I would be rest assured that he did not have concerns that we will have to treat in the busy academic period. As I waved a goodbye and flung a desperate flying kiss, I knew I had released him to grow some roots and sprout some wings.
When did your little bundle start school? Was the first day rough? How did you cope and how did you prepare them? I’d love to hear your experience and any advice that could be shared.