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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Preparing Your Child for Their First Day of School

In most places, a new school year is about to begin. If you're sending a child off to school for the first time, here are a few tips for getting him ready, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for that big day. 

  • Make sure your child has a say in what he wears. It's important he feels comfortable and confident. 
  • Serve him a healthy breakfast with plenty of protein.
  • Get him to bed early the night before so he's well rested.
  • Buy school supplies such as backpack, lunch box, pencils, etc. the week before. That way he won't have to wait too long to use them and he’ll knows he’s prepared for school, which provides him peace of mind.
  • Meet your child's teacher and visit the classroom ahead of time if possible to help reduce fear of the unknown.
  • Talk only in positive terms about her going to school, even if you feel sad about sending her. 
  • Acknowledge your child's fear if she says she's nervous about going. Assure her it's normal to be nervous about new things. Give her something tangible to take with her as a token of your love. Some parents kiss a handkerchief or the palm of their child's hand  and tell her she has one of their kisses with her if she needs it. Others have given a small rock for her to stick in her pocket to remind her that God is her rock and her strength. 
  • Build your child up throughout the week before she starts school. When you see her being responsible, helpful, smart, funny, or a good friend, mention it and use it as an example of how she’s so ready for school. This will increase her confidence level.
  • Pray with your child about starting school and choosing good friends in the days leading up to that first day. Then pray together before you leave the house that first morning, and if possible, every morning. Be sure to thank God for how smart and ready your child is, as well as asking Him to help her have a great day and school year.
  • Encourage your child to find someone in his class that seems to need a friend and try to play with him or her or eat lunch together. Start early to grow a heart of compassion in him, keeping his eyes off himself and on others and their needs.
  • Remind your student that God will be with him at school and that he can pray silently by just thinking his prayers and God will still be able to hear him. Tell him you'll pray for him from home or work, too.
  • Talk to your child about choosing good friends that will help him stay out of trouble and living like God would want him to.
Sending your little one off to school that first day can be an emotional time. But with proper preparation, you can rest assured you've done all you can to guarantee his success. After that first day is behind him, celebrate with a special dinner or an ice cream treat. He did it! And so did you.

How are you (or did you) preparing your child for their first day of school?


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