The first day of school can be quite an overwhelming experience for the child. Here are a few tips to help you get her through it with ease and a smile.
Before school begins, get her used to a school-like routine. Include activities like giving her small tasks, such as painting, reading a book, or even eating some snacks from a lunch box, during a time when she will be on her own in a room, without you.
Carry a Toy
On the first day, let her take her favourite soft toy with her in the car. Tell her a story about the toy going to school too. For example, after you drop her off, even her toy will be going to the ‘teddy school’.
Before she goes inside school, tell her that you will be waiting for her just outside the school gates. Do make sure that you are really there to fetch her on time, and that she is not kept waiting. It’s a sure shot way to reassure her that you are there, while she is inside school.
While you are saying bye to her, don’t prolong it too much. The longer you take, the longer the time you are giving her to feel nervous. In fact, decide on a short but school-special good bye. For example, a nose rub, and then a flying kiss.
Before she enters the school gates, tell her something that she will look forward to. For example, ‘You will get your favourite chocolate, when you come out’, or ‘You can go home and watch your favourite cartoon’.
Make her wear an iron bangle or one made of black thread, and say the Lord is in it to protect her.
You can also kiss her on it, just before she enters school, and say that all your kisses are stored inside it. So, whenever she feels scared she just has to kiss it back.
You can even tell her a magic word that will ward off her fears. This can be a coined one too. However, start using the word much before school starts, and use it every time she feels nervous of something. Then tell her that in school too, if she says it, all her fears will vanish.
Find out the names of the other kids in her class. Make stories about how they are also getting ready for school and what fun they will all have together.
Start telling her stories about your school days. The more she hears the more she will feel that school is something that is enjoyable.
Put a picture of yourself in her trouser pocket which she can touch every time she feels anxious. If she’s wearing dresses to school, then keep one in her bag instead.
You can even get a picture of her favourite doll printed on a t-shirt, and let her wear it on her first day at school.
Get her excited about starting school. Take her shopping and let her choose her own bag, bottle, lunch box and even clothes. Make it a fun time for her.
Before school begins, start doing school-based role plays with her and her dolls, at home. She may feel less frightened if she begins to enact her feelings and emotions to you. You, in turn, can keep explaining out what’s rational and practical.