Diane Sasser | 7/14/2005 2:46:37 AM
The first day of school can be one of anxiety for both parents and children. LSU AgCenter family life professor Dr. Diane D. Sasser offers top 10 ways to prepare you and your kids for the first day of school and the separation you both will experience.
1. Make sure your child has some time away from you before starting school; consider enrolling the youngster in a daycare a few days a week. This will help the young one develop more independence and get used to the idea of your not being there.
2. Make sure you talk to your child about starting school. Talk about your experiences with school. Tell the youngster what kinds of activities go on in school. When talking about school, make sure you are very positive and never say anything negative, so your child won’t be scared to go. Say that schools are places to learn and that everyone goes to school. If your child has a friend twho goes or will be going to school, make sure the youngster knows their friends also will be in school with them.
3. If possible, preview the school. Children are less likely to be scared if they are aware of their surroundings.
4. If the child’s teacher sends a welcoming letter, be sure to read it to your child.
5. Let your child help you gather school supplies. Helping with the shopping can generate more enthusiasm about school.
6. Explain what school will be like. Talk about the fun with puzzles, blocks, books, computers, snack time and playing with other children on the playground.
7. Read to your child regularly, and explain that teachers will read many books aloud, too.
8. Ask about all the things that happened on the first day of school. If the kids are interested, encourage them to call grandma or other relatives to share that first school day.
9. If your child cries when you leave, don’t worry, because that is perfectly normal. Most children will stop crying when their parents leave. The longer you stay, the more your child will cry. If your child still has problems with your leaving, talk to your child’s teacher about giving your child a special job or a special friend or partner so the child will find it easier to be apart from you. If your child still has problems with your leaving, talk to school administrators.
10. Realize that each child is different. Your first may be fine with your not being there, but your second may scream when you leave. Make reassurances that you will be coming back for them at the end of the day. Some children like to have a picture of their parents in the backpack or desk to be reminded of you during the day.
For information on related family and consumer topics, click on the Family and Home link at the LSU AgCenter Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.
On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/
Source: Diane D. Sasser (225) 578-4448, or Dsasser@agcenter.lsu.edu