It’s time to go back to school, or for some us with little ones time to start school and that’s pretty exciting (mum code for scary…!) Seriously though how and when did your little one get so grown-up? It feels like yesterday you were buying them their first pair of shoes and now you’re buying them their first school uniform.
Your little one starting 'big' school is going to stir up a lot of emotions for everyone involved- it is a big change after all. How will you cope with not seeing them all day? How will they cope? What are you going to do after you’ve waved them off at the school gates?
For a lot of us that big wave goodbye is coming any day now so you’ve probably already done a lot of prep, but here’s a few things to do in the next couple of days to help make things go as smoothly as possible…
Talk it up (but keep it real)
- Keep things positive! Speak to your child about all the exciting things that come with starting school, as well as listening to and acknowledging any anxious feelings or fears they may have.
- If you’ve been on an induction session already remind them of their favourite part or their new friends to give them something to look forward to.
- If they’ve got older siblings already at school get them to share their favourite parts (with strict instructions to leave out the not so good bits…)
- Or, why not share your memories of your first day (it can’t have been that long ago…) keep it funny and light but still give them a sense of what to expect.
- Give them time to talk too, giving them a chance to raise any concerns or questions.
- Encourage them to be thoughtful about other children’s feelings and make sure they take turns and share.
- Think your mini might feel clingy or at risk of suffering from FOMO?! Let them know mummy definitely wont be doing anything interesting whilst their at school. Share what you have planned for the day, our top tip? Make it sound boring.
- A promise of something extra special at the end of the day can help get your little one (and you) through what might seem like something pretty scary. Plan in a pamper session with our Bath Time Dreams Pamper Hamper to ease them into bed after their big day, (they’re going to more than ready for bed.)
- Being positive is of course super important but it’s also ok to let them know that they may get tired and if they have any problems or feel sad they can tell their teacher who wants everyone there to be happy and safe and that they’ll always have someone to talk to.
The night before school will be full of excitement and it's the perfect time to make sure everything is ready for the big day. Lay out backpacks, get their uniform out and ready, prep breakfast and sort anything else needed in the morning to cut down on any chaos or surprises.
Once everything is set for the next day, focus on having a fun and relaxing evening. Have a special family dinner, a celebratory dessert or some special bonding time.
Start a Fun Tradition
Starting school might be scary for mini (& mummy) but it’s also a pretty big deal and it deserves to be documented and celebrated. In Germany they have a custom of giving their children a paper cone (called a Schultüte) which is basically a goody bag full of treats, school supplies and other fun gifts on their first day.
We also looove the idea of getting a 'first day of school picture’ as the start of each new school year to keep and compare each year.
The big goodbye!
Time to be prepared, stay calm and hold back the tears. Give yourself plenty of time to get to school and keep things positive and exciting all the way up to the door.
Whether you want to hang around the classroom or just poke your head in the door to help your mini find their peg and point out the loo, that’s really up to you (and the school) but hanging about crying, probably not the best route to take…
Your mini me needs to feel confident, so even if you're still scarred by your first day at school try to act normal and positive. Send them in confidentially, smiling, wishing them well with a promise to see you later, then… cry on your drive home.
The Pick Up
Make sure you're early to pick up, bring a snack and again, try to stay calm.
You're probably going to be really excited to see them and want to know everything they've done, but try not to bombard them with too many questions as they're probably going to be pretty tired. Remember the last time you started a new job and then times that tiredness by 10.
Maybe don’t arrange anything too crazy for that afternoon, but a treat to celebrate a successful first day (did someone say pamper session?!) - is definitely a good option.
And that’s it! New, exciting and a little bit scary, chances are you mini is going to LOVE school, and if they don’t straight away they know you’re there for them. Want to hear Tallulah’s take on the first day of school? Go check out our Instagram…