How to Help Your Child Navigate School for the First Time
Your child is one of your best friends, and you’ve spent almost every day together as they grew up. Now, you have to let go of that control and trust the school system to give them the same care and attention that you’ve given them. It will be a challenge for you, but it can be even more challenging for them. Here’s how you can help your child navigate school and not feel scared leaving your side for the first time.
Allow Your Child To Be Stressed
As a parent, your first reaction to your child’s stress is to help them and stop the stressors, but you can’t easily do this with school. School is a critical part of everyone’s development, and for kids to find their own way through it, you can’t baby them. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be critical.
When they express their anxieties and stress about the situation, talk to them about it, lend an ear to their concerns, and help them work it out themselves. Many of these feelings are abstract and new to them, so talking them through the stress is a great way to confront and potentially even overcome these emotions.
Read Books About Starting School
Children are like sponges, and they can absorb a lot of information. With that said, you have to get their attention in the first place, and one of the best ways to do that is with a book. These books can teach them about school, as they often center on characters that reflect your child.
This advice is excellent for kids of all ages, especially if they’re a preschooler transitioning to kindergarten. School is constantly changing, and both you and your child need to remember that no matter how different it can be, you both must face that challenge.
Teach Them About the Difficult Parts of School
School is a fantastic place to learn and grow, but there are also some significant obstacles that your child may not be familiar with. One of those is bullies. Many people think of bullying as a problem that kids deal with when they’re teenagers, but, unfortunately, bullies come in all ages.
Encountering bullies can be new for a child, and they may not understand what’s happening or what the right thing to do is. Thankfully, you can do your best to teach them about bullying and tell them that they should go to a teacher or principal to resolve the issue.
This is how to help your child navigate school for the first time, and no matter how much you prepare, you still won’t feel ready. It’s a process similar to learning how to swim, and sometimes, the best way to learn is to get in the water. The first day is tough, but it will soon even out, and school will become easy and natural.
Photo Katerina Holmes