Watching your baby blossom into a kindergarten student….
It seems like just yesterday you gave birth. Then, in the blink of an eye, your preparing to send your baby off to primary school. When the hell did that happen? Your once dependent little one has grown into an increasingly independent child and while they might be ready for big school, you are not so sure that you are ready.
But stop, take a breath and think about what an amazing moment this is.
Remember back to their first day of childcare and how anxious you were to leave them there? But with lots and support and guidance you watched your baby blossom into a toddler and now child under the guidance of loving carers.
Day one of primary school is another important milestone and one you will look back fondly on in years to come. Your baby is officially a child now. Going out into the world. Your heart is not only being worn on your sleeve, it’s being left in the hands of others. So here’s some advice to help you through.
Crying is OK
Firstly, it’s ok to cry. It’s healthy even! Before day one arm yourself with some waterproof mascara and tissues. Drop them off with a huge smile and show excitement for the adventure that waits for 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, drive around the corner, stay in the car and burst out crying if you need too. Let it all out. Lift the burden. Play a good crying song (yes we all have one) and belt out some singing through those beautiful ugly tears.
If you are a working mum (aren’t we all in some form anyway) consider taking the day off work. Unless you think working will ease your worries of how their day is going. Make their first day a day for you too. A day that you need to celebrate the amazing achievement you’ve just accomplished. Your child is at school and growing into an amazing little boy or girl.
After the school bell
So then, the day passes and you arrive at school pick up and then there’s that moment. Your eyes meet and you forget all the times you wanted to kill this munchkin and your heart melts….
You jump in the car and mammas – keep it upbeat. Think about building confidence as much as possible. Ask them the 3 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. Remember, this is a HUGE change and us adults don’t cope too well with change. But luckily kids do.
If the day was bad, lift them and their confidence up to believe that it was actually good. And it could be even better tomorrow. It will take them time to settle in but hold strong mamma. Remember – they look to you for how to feel. Feel good for them, feel happy for them and feel the love you always do.
It will take time for them (and you) to settle in. But this is a beautiful, amazing journey.
Just incase that’s not enough to get you through, we also asked a couple of local ‘school teacher’ mammas for their tips and advice and here’s what they said..
Keep your week somewhat ‘busy’ so you aren’t stressing and thinking about how your child is going all day. Make coffee dates with friends or finish that never-ending to-do list and remember it’s usually harder on the parents than the kids.
Be assertive when you say goodbye to your little ones (they can pick up on any nervous feelings you have) and leave straight away when dropping off. Don’t hang around prolonging the good-byes.
Have your kids practice unpacking and packing their bag and getting them to carry their bag too! Build up as much independence as possible as this will make them feel more comfortable and confident.
A weird one but an important one.. Teach your kids to blow their noses!!! So many don’t know how to do it and the poor little darlings go a lot of the day with runny noses. Kindy teachers have so much going on, the less they time they spend on each child’s general personal hygiene the more time they have to plan and implement fun activities.
Talk to your little ones about what to do or who to see if they are feeling unsafe or unsure about anything (teachers, older sibling, a neighbour etc.).
It’s a time that requires parents to really listen and observe how their child is adjusting. Some children (especially children who have not attended a daycare before) can develop anxiety that can become evident in many different ways. E.g. No appetite, being nervous and therefore attending (or not attending) the toilet often. It is important to look and listen out so you can spot the sign in the early stages and needed implement strategies to address the anxiety.
Strategies may include things like preparing the lunch box together, packing the school bag together, all while talking together about the following day.. “tomorrow I’m going to need my reading book to practice reading”. It prepares the child and gets them into the routine of the day/week therefore reducing their anxiety.
So mummas, hope that helps, good luck with it and let us know how your first day at big school goes! xox