How to Help Your Child to Be Mentally Ready to Start School

The first school experience for a child can be both exciting and scary.  Many parents find that they are not adequately prepared to help the child to make the transition. This piece looks at actionable tips that can help to smoothen the process for everyone involved.

Discuss it

It is obvious but you should never underestimate the power of simply talking about the experience with the child. Let them know what it will feel like. Talk about what they will need to do each day and the daily experience.  Be very positive about it and it will rub off on the child.

Get Supplies Together

A child will be more excited about going to school if they have selected their own lunchboxes or backpacks. It is not uncommon to find them getting super personal about these items over a period of time.

Put together their favourite healthy meals

Knowing that they’ve got some of their favourite foods packed in can be very reassuring for small children. This is why you should make sure they always have their favourite fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, etc. packed.  With the sandwiches, cut them into funny shapes for even better results.

Start a Sleep Routine that They Will Get Used To

At least 3 weeks before the resumption date, you need to start conditioning your child to get used to a sleep schedule that will work for school. You need to avoid the mistake of starting too late. Your child should get 9 hours of sleep. So you need to get them ready for bed an hour before the ideal sleep start time.  This means that if you expect your child to be up by 7am, they should be asleep by 9pm and must therefore be in bed by 8pm maximum.

Don’t Overstretch the Child

It might be tempting to sign up your child for numerous activities and keep them in school for longer hours. However, kids need the downtime at the beginning. Keep their schedule as light as possible in the early days. It is an important step to ensure that they don’t get bogged down by the mental strain of starting school.

Use the Community to Your Advantage Early

If you already know what school the child will be attending, appear at any functions they may be organising at any point and then take note of the parents and their children. Get your child to meet them to get them some friends before they are even in school. Alternatively, if your child already has some local friends, it may be best to consider the school they attend.

Don’t forget to discuss any health conditions with the school authorities, making sure they understand prescriptions.

Starting school is a new experience that should not be terrifying for your children. With these tips, it should be easy for you to get them on board mentally.

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