Top Tips for Back-to-School JITTERS!
Hands up who has a LITTLE one starting BIG school this year? Whether it’s your first time, your last time,
or a time in between, it’s always an emotional time.
Some children run through the school gates without a backward glance leaving behind mortified mums with
trembling chins. Others might need to be walked to the classroom, but once they spot a friendly face are happy to
give mum or dad a kiss and be on their way. A few children can be more anxious and don't want to let mum or
dad out of their sight.
Whichever is the case for your child, we're here to help with the first-day jitters - for you and your child.
Top Tip #1: Talk about feelings.
Most kids have big feelings, and most kids find it tricky to talk about those feelings.
Try talking about the different feelings associated with going back to or starting school ... nervous, calm, excited,
worried, confused ... ask them how they feel or if they have any concerns about their (new) school routine. Let
them know their feelings are normal, and maybe even share your personal experience and how you learned
to love school.
Who will I sit with at lunch?
Will I make friends?
Will I fit in?
SO. MANY. QUESTIONS! Here's an idea to beat the back-to-school butterflies!
Top Tip #2 - Run through the day
Whether it's a new school, new year, or first day, practising the morning routine is a great way to help
replace worry or fear with confidence!
Go over the morning drill - What time does your child need to wake up?; When will you leave the house?;
When and where will you be picking up?
And do the same for the afternoon schedule - make time for homework and other after-school activities.
The first day of school means lots of conversation, which can be overwhelming and stressful!
Top Tip #3 - Practice first-day chats
Try practicing everyday interactions you know your child will have with other kids and teachers.
Like: "Hi. I heard you were in my class. I wonder if we will sit next to each other." and "Hi. I'm Annie.
I love Soccer! Do you play?"
You can also practice greeting a familiar face: "It's great to see you! I think we're in the same class!"
Let's play schools!
Top Tip #4 - Roleplay
Pretend-play with your child can help them adjust to the school routine, including the idea that you will be
leaving but will come back at the end of the school day.
Get out all the toys and dolls, pack a lunchbox, and set up a school day at home. You can also switch roles
and let your child be the teacher. This will help them think of school as a fun place and hopefully reduce
some worry on day one.
What if the teacher is mean? What if the teacher doesn't like me?
Top Tip #5 - Be positive
Focus on all the fun things your child will do at school. Acknowledge that it's normal to feel nervous
about doing something new, but they will feel more comfortable once they get to know other kids in the
class and their teacher. Pop little notes into their lunchbox or a favourite little treat to let them know you
are thinking of them.
Top Tip for Mums and Dads!
The first day of school can also be anxious for us Mums and Dads! We recommend sharing a cup of
coffee and a tear with another parent from the school after that first drop-off, and if you don't have to run
off to work, have a few activities planned for that first week. A long walk, coffee with a friend, a spot of
shopping – enjoy some of the things you usually cannot do.
We hope you have found these tips useful ... and remember, our littles are more resilient than we
sometimes give them credit for! For most kids, back-to-school jitters will melt away once they
see just how fun school can be.
Love from all of us at SGI xo