The day you have been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure is drawing nearer: your child’s first day at school. They are about to step into a world that means uniforms, homework and suddenly, you find yourself having moments of doubt and even some anxiety about what this transition is going to feel like for both you and your too quickly growing child. The good news is that this feeling is completely normal, a right of passage. So to help you get through this milestone, we asked some seasoned parents to share tips that could help make the transition much better.
- In the run up to the first day of school, you want to make sure that you label everything. This is a popular refrain from parents we spoke to particularly from Jen of @sw1_mum. You are probably reading this and imagining hours of sewing in your immediate future but those days are over. There are now stamps and stickers that can be used for labelling, saving you time and making the activity one you can include your kid in to keep them engaged in the getting ready for school process.
- Koru Kids team member Jenna has her eldest starting school in September. The advice she’s been given is to start getting your child used to wearing their uniform. Getting them to try on their uniform the weekend before starting school, is a great way to make the transition to "big school” seem exciting. This should leave your child feeling anticipation rather than dread or discomfort around the coming change.
- Consider taking it easy with pictures. Pictures are important but as Sally of @milkatthemusuem advises, be careful not to overwhelm your kid with too many pictures. Your excited capturing of every moment of the getting ready process can leave your kid feeling overwhelmed which could lead to waterworks.
- Your child’s development will happen at a pace that works for them. When Sadie of @thesecretlifeofmum looks back on getting her child ready to start school, she wishes she had not spent so much time worrying about his ability to write, spell or count to ‘standardised’ levels. The school environment will get your child where they need to be in a way that works for them. Instead, devote these last few days to activities that will help you spend time with your child on activities that can live in the memory bank.
- Your feelings about cake are about to become very mixed. For Rachel Carrel, Koru Kids founder and CEO, the flurry of birthday parties that suddenly filled weekends felt like a throwback to the wedding, stag and hen do surge you’re thankful has died down. Be prepared to party every weekend, only now, the bubbles won’t be the drinkable kind and you’ll find that you are suddenly able to sing along to Peppa Pig’s album without missing a beat.
We know the final tip reads more like a warning than help but we thought it best to end this piece by embracing the fact that your home and life are about to undergo another change and sometimes change means attending three parties in one day and still ending up back home before 6pm. Beyond this, we hope one, if not all of these tips go a long way in making this transition to big school as calm as possible for both yourself and your child.