It might seem like they were a tiny bundle in your arms five minutes ago and now they’re suddenly off to school! This bittersweet moment is a huge milestone, but it’s natural for your child (and you) to feel a little apprehensive. You’ve probably been preparing over the last few weeks by chatting to your child about what to expect, getting their uniform ready and making sure they can go to the loo on their own. But what about the day itself? We’ve rounded up some tips to help the big day go as smoothly as possible, hopefully putting you and your child at ease.
The night before
1. Make sure uniforms are laid out, shoes are clean and lunches are packed the night before so you’re not rushing in the morning.
2. Once everything is ready, have a fun and relaxing evening together to help keep worry or stress to a minimum.
On the morning
3. Give your child a confident boost by telling them how great they look in their uniform.
4. Don’t forget to take a photo before you set off!
5. Take your (ideally well-rehearsed) usual route to school and leave with plenty of time to spare.
At the school gates
6. Invent a secret signal in advance, such as squeezing their hand three times or pinching their little finger as a way to say ‘I love you’, and use it as a subtle way to remind them as you let them go.
7. Try not to get upset as this will upset your child too. Keep your goodbye cheerful and speedy – smile, wave, wish them well then be on your way!
8. Try not to bombard your child with questions. They’ve had a lot to take in and are probably exhausted.
9. Suggest a treat to celebrate a successful first day, for example a picnic dinner in the park.
10. Remember to check your child’s bag each evening for any notes they might have received from school.