For many parents and their children, the first day of a new school year is the most stressful experience, as both parties try to get back into the swing of the early morning schedule. If you always seem to be unprepared for this annual upheaval, perhaps it is time to rethink your strategy, and here are some helpful hints to make the return to school bearable for both you and your kids.
Prepare a Shopping List
This needs to be done at least 2 weeks before school starts and should include all uniform items, such as blazers and school shirts, along with equipment like pens, pencils and erasers. To save time, locate an online supplier, which will save you the shopping trip and the chances are, the items will be cheaper when purchased online. Allow ample time for delivery and make sure that all clothing is clearly labelled before the first day back, otherwise things will get misplaced and lost.
First Day Checklist
As a follow up to the shopping list, create a checklist for that first day back to school, which should include school shirts, equipment, and anything else that is required. School bags can be prepared the night before, and with time of the essence, anything that can be sorted prior to the morning will stand you in good stead. If the checklist items have all been ticked off, there is nothing more you can do until the alarm clock sounds and everyone goes about their business.
If it is their very first day at school, a visit to the classroom prior to the big day could make all the difference, as you have to deal with the added stress of a new experience. The unknown can cause panic and stress, but if the child has already seen their new environment, they will know what to expect and are likely to be happier about the arrangement. If you sense an air of apprehension, talk about it, and relate your own first day experiences with your child, which will help them to understand that this is something we all have to deal with.
Early to Bed
There is nothing like a tired child to make the first day at school an absolute nightmare, so make sure the children are into an early sleeping routine at least one week prior to the big day. This will not only help your children, it will also be good for you to retire a little early, as you will need all your energy for that first morning of school. Long summer breaks can play havoc with routines and you cannot expect children to pick up a hectic routine without some form of preparation.
Talking can really help, as any uneasiness is brought out into the open, and if you have more than one child going back to school, ask the older one to help their sibling deal with the realities of the first day at school.