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The first day of school: ten tips for parents and children

The first day of school is fast approaching, and for children of primary school (or elementary school, as we still like to call it) this is a really important moment. Not to mention for moms and dads: how many times they have pictured their child with the uniform and school bag… It will certainly be very difficult not to be emotional that day. And what’s more wonderful that seeing your children growing up and being there by their side? And if that day emotions are high, better be prepared: here are ten tips to make the first school day a fun event !


Emotions under control


The first day at school is unforgettable, but it needs to be handled in the right way: we need to stress with our children that going to school is an important step on the way to become grown-ups and a unique opportunity to learn new things and make new friends. Better avoid saying things as “they will straighten you out” or stress the fact that there will be homeworks to be done instead of playing: school needs to be taken seriously, but children need to see it as a pleasant and stimulating environment. The attitude they learn now will last a lifetime!


Let’s get the school kit ready, but no rush


Uniform, school bag, cafeteria implements, school dairy, pens and pencils case… so many things are needed at the start of school and it may be fun to shop together with our children: before the actual purchase, however, it is better to get some information from the families whose children have already attended that school or call the admin office to ask what will be truly needed and find out which are the school’s advices. Every grade has its own rules: better wait for the first PT meeting rather than having a huge bag with useless items or the wrong type of uniform!


Early to bed!


Sleeping the adequate number of hours is important: rested children are reactive, alert and better capable of learning. At the age of 6, children need to sleep between 9 to 11 hours. Getting them used to go to sleep at regular time and preparing them for the routine is our job: let’s try to achieve that gradually, starting a few weeks ahead, not just on the last day of vacation.


Let’s talk about us


The first day at school is an opportunity for sharing our own best memories with our child: remember some funny anecdote or the first time we met our best friend, it will be a wonderful moment of sharing and will raise in our children the desire and curiosity to live that new adventure.


Let’s rehearse


How far is the school? how long will you take to get there by foot, by bus or by car? Better know that a few days earlier. Having one or two “dress rehearsals” will be not just useful, but also fun!


Let’s get the clothes ready


To be late right on the first day of school would be really a very bad idea… better select and get the clothes ready the day before. Not being able to find the right socks at the last minute or discovering that our daughter’s favourite skirt needs the hem stitched could unleash last minute panic scenes!


Let’s get ready for the after-school


Let’s plan with our child something special to do when school lets out: having a snack at a coffee shop, going to a park to play, watching a movie… Figuring out a special “after-school” for the first days will make them even more beautiful.


In case of… need


As every child does, yours also will say no, buy insist with him/her to go to the bathroom before leaving the house and when you accompany your child into the classroom discretely show where the bathrooms are located. In case of urgent need, better know where to go!


Let’s network


If you already know some of the families that will be attending the same school or class, organize some get-together with them in the park or for a snack together in the days prior to the school start: having a familiar face in the class, or as playmate during recession, will reassure the children and will help them socialize.


Last but essential: let’s provide the important information


Emotions play funny tricks: even though we do not forget the really important things. If your child has an allergy, food intolerance or a specific problem, or needs an inhaler because he/she suffers from respiratory distress, let’s make sure your child carries along all that is needed and that anyone that can help is informed.