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A Juggling Mum

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So Your Child is Starting Big School

Here are some tips to help your child prepare for school and enjoy this special time in their lives.

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Preparing for school

It will help your child if you prepare her as well as you can and at the same time show her that you have confidence that she will manage the new challenges.

  • Show your child over the school so they know where they will be going, where the toilets are and where you will pick them up.
  • Make sure they can manage undoing their uniform to use the toilet.
  • Make sure they can unwrap their lunch and that they know how to ask to go to the toilet.

Some other things you may need to prepare your child for.

  • The school bell or siren and what it means.
  • How to drink from a water fountain.
  • Putting up a hand to ask a question.
  • If your child is anxious about leaving you, ask her what would help, for example, who should drop them off at school, where they want to say goodbye, and what she wants to do after school . Having some control over what happens helps with fears. You might tell them what you’ll be doing while they’re at school.

Once at school

  • Don’t be late picking your child up. A few minutes can seem a long time when you are not very sure of yourself.
  • Some children want to tell you all about their day as soon as you pick them up so, make time for your child after school if they need it, or as soon as you get home if you work. Some children, however, like a while by themselves before they want company.
  • Children are often ‘starving’ after school. A healthy snack straight after can make up for a missed lunch due to excitement or anxiety. This will be as important as eating a big dinner. If you are picking your children up in a car after school, take something (a piece of fruit) with you ready for them to eat in the car. In the first few weeks they might be too tired to really want to eat by dinnertime.
  • Listen, but don’t ask too many questions. Children will talk when they are ready. Bedtime is usually a good listening time.
  • It helps if you read stories to children even after they can read themselves. Bedtime is also a good time to read stories.
  • Some children wet their pants in the early months at school. This can be very embarrassing for them. They need to be reassured that it often happens to children and it is nothing to worry about. Encourage your child to tell the teacher. Pack an extra pair of pants if it happens. If you show you are worried, it will make him feel that there really is something to worry about.

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  Copyright 2006 - Rachel Suesskow