Any minute now our social media feeds will be lit up with precious little ones dressed in starchy slightly-too-big uniforms, shiny jet-black shoes and nervous smiles. It feels like only yesterday you welcomed your baby into the world and now it’s your turn to tick off another major milestone and pack them off to primary school.
And, while your child is probably bursting with excitement at the thought of all the new adventures and experiences that lay ahead, it’s only natural for us mums to feel a little trepidation at this next chapter of family life. So, if you’re visualising yourself blubbing in the carpark after drop-off; stop, take a breath and think about what an amazing moment this is.
Think back to their first day of childcare and how anxious you were to leave them there? No doubt with lots and support and guidance you watched your baby blossom and grow under the guidance of loving carers. Day one of primary school is another momentous occasion in our child’s life, and one you will look back fondly on in years to come. Here’s some advice to help you through.
CRYING IS OK
No matter how many articles you read – just like this one – to prep you for the day, you’ll likely feel that twang on your heart strings. And, it’s perfectly normal. Drop them off with a huge smile and show excitement for the adventure that awaits them behind the school gates. Tell them that this day is going to be the best day ever! And tell them you can’t wait to hear all about it tonight. Then, give yourself time alone to honour those emotions and have a good ol’ cleansing ugly cry.
Make the first day a day for you as well, take the day off work or any household chores. It’s a day for you to celebrate the amazing achievement you’ve just accomplished. Your child is at school and growing into an amazing little human.
AFTER THE SCHOOL BELL
Expressing your emotions is a healthy habit, but keep your composure for pick up. Our kids are looking for us to be their guiding force of love and encouragement. Think about building confidence as much as possible. Ask them the three best things about their day (a great habit in general) and then ask them who they met (any new friends) covering all the best of the day’s details.
If they didn’t enjoy their day, work with them to find the positives and lift their spirits. It will take them time to settle in, so hold strong. Remember – they look to you for how to feel. Feel good for them, feel happy for them and feel the love you always do.
And above all else remember this: The first day of school is another in a long string of firsts. Your child is on the adventure of a lifetime, an eighteen-year journey into education (maybe more).