Back To School: 7 Ways To Avoid A First Morning Meltdown

The first day of school can be intimidating, but follow these 7 tips and your little one will be as cool as a cucumber


Got a nervous new student on your hands? Don't panic. The first day of school will go down a lot more smoothly if you prepare to avoid a morning meltdown. Here are seven ways to banish those pre-September jitters and make sure you can send your kid off to school with a smile.

Get familiar with the space

If possible, drive to the school before the first day and have a look around the grounds. This can serve as a practice run for the first day, and also make the overall transition easier. Seeing the building or meeting a new teacher or principal will make a new school feel much less daunting.

Principals will likely be in the building during the last week of August. Go in and introduce yourself and explain that you're getting used to the place.

Put your kid in control

Let your kid come back-to-school shopping with you so they can pick out their clothes, supplies, and even the snacks they want. The night before the first day, let them pack their bag themselves. This can be a fun experience for children, and will also give them a sense of control over their day, since they'll know that everything they need is right within their grasp. It also shows you have confidence in them.

Talk about nervousness

It's important to let your kid know that it's perfectly fine to be nervous. Remind them that every child in their class will probably feel the way they do, and that the whole class is in it together.

If your child is very nervous, or has specific allergies or other health conditions he or she is worried about, it might give them comfort to know that you've talked to the teacher ahead of time to let them know.

Role play

Once all the shopping has been done, practice packing their backpack with them, or demo their first day outfit. Have them read some of their new books and write their names on their new supplies.

All this helps the idea of going to school feel more like a reality, rather than a far-off idea. It also helps build independence, which will be like their secret weapon on the first day.

Help them structure time

The first day of school will seem less intimidating if you help them break up the school day in their mind. Rather than see it as a day-long stretch, remind them that they'll have some me-time throughout in which they're free to do whatever they want - play with their favourite toy, or reconnect with a friend in another class.

Keep in mind that recess and lunch may actually be big sources of anxiety in children who don't know anyone at a new school. Pack a note for them to unwrap during breaks, and equip them with break snacks they will look forward to.

Stock some nice-to-haves

If your child is old enough that they'll have a locker or a cubby of their own, equip them with some personal décor for it. Even packing a favourite toy in their backpack may help make a scary situation more comfortable.

Take care of yourself

Lastly, don't forget to relax yourself! Back to school jitters aren't just for kids. Making sure you're ready for their first day will help your kid out a lot, as he or she will likely mirror your attitude. So get excited for them, and make sure they know you're confident they'll make friends, love their teacher, and have a great time.

Make the first morning a breeze by getting your kid used to a new bedtime two weeks in advance, packing their bag, making their lunch, and laying out their clothes the night before. An unhurried goodbye is much more likely to be a happy one!


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