If you have a little one heading to school, they are likely to have some first day jitters. But guess what? Even moms get the first day jitters. Take a deep breath, you got this, you are not alone, and we have a few steps to help you and your child have a great start and overcome the first day jitters.
Meet the teacher
First, visit your child’s school during a meet the teacher prior to the first day. Be sure to take your time and focus solely on your child. Make it a positive experience and be mindful of your nerves so that your do not project them onto your child. Be sure to include a tour to see other locations in the school such as the cafeteria, art room, and clinic. Also, this is a great time to review your drop off and pick up plan. When done, take your sweetie to lunch. Once you get home, start a positive countdown calendar to the big day. This is a great way for them to feel special and positive about this milestone.
Start a new routine
Next, begin transitioning to the ideal “school year” daytime schedule by setting earlier bed and wake up times using 15 minutes increments every few nights until you reach your desired schedule. Also, if your little one is a napper, you will want to work phasing this out. Lack of sleep can be a big determinant to your child’s day. Because of this, getting the evening schedules set with enough hours for sleep is very important. If you do not have an established routine, start several weeks before the first day. This will give your child the enough time to get used to the “early riser” schedule and allow them to start the day ready to go!
Finally, be sure to create traditions that your kids will remember fondly. This can be simple things like a favorite first day of school breakfast or a special night before homemade dinner of their choosing. Allow them to help choose their outfits and prepare the night before.
Here are some great books that you can use to create a new “tradition” with the littles:
Book with first day of school themes:
“Curious George Goes to School” by M. Rey & H.A. Rey
“First Day Jitters” by J. Dannenberg
“I am absolutely too small for school” by L. Child
“I love school!” by P. Sturges & S. Halpern
“Leo the Late Bloomer” by R. Kraus
“Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten” by J. Slate
“Mr. George Baker” by A. Hest & J.J. Muth
“The Kissing Hand” by A. Penn
“Will I Have a Friend?” by M. Cohen
You know they will have questions
When they ask questions- like, “What if I can’t find my lunch” or “I do not know where my class is”, for example, avoid the temptation to give them the answer. Instead, problem solve with them and guide them to the appropriate answers.
This will be empowering and it builds independence and confidence.
Ultimately, those lessons last a lifetime.