Your child’s first day at school: dealing with anxiety

By January 9, 2014Anxiety

The first day your child goes to ‘big’ school is a memorable time for any family Download AutoCad 2010 Korean Edition! Emotions are running high in parents, and children are filled with a mixture of excitement, nerves and anxiety – and who could blame them?

The first day of school is a huge thing for kids, which is why it’s so important to help prepare them and put them at ease. Although Grade R (reception year), prepares children mentally and emotionally for their first year at school, there’s still a lot you can do at home in the weeks and days leading up to their big day. Here are our top tips:

Talk to them about starting school
Find out how they’re feeling about it. Some children have no problems, especially if they are generally out-going and make new friends easily. Others will need more encouragement. Tell them which of their friends will be there, and give them an idea of what they can expect the first few days. Remind them that there’ll be play time!

In the beginning, get one parent to drop them, and the other to fetch them
It’s not uncommon for children to have separation anxiety when they first start attending school, and if mom and dad are there to send them off, it might make it harder for them to say goodbye as they watch both parents walk away. Rather, get one parent to drop them off, and the other to pick them up – this way both parents still get to be involved and share in the all the happenings of their child’s first day.

Read  What anxiety does to your body

It’s normal for your child to be ‘clingy’ the first few days
Walk them to their class, but only hold hands if they want to! Wait for a few minutes while they settle, then leave. Let them know everything is going to be OK, that they’ll have fun, and if they need anything, they can tell the teacher. Generally, after a few days children will be feeling much more at ease – to the point that they might not want you to walk them to class anymore!

Find out about after-school activities or day-care options
Day-care and and extra-mural activities give your child more opportunity to spend time with their peers in an out-of-school environment. Find out which neighbourhood children are in the same year or class and arrange for them to travel together. This way, your child is likely to make a few new friends, and they get to walk into school every day with them. It all makes school more fun!

Joanne Hart for