Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School Week: First Day Jitters

It's "Back to School" season which means a very busy time for all moms. This week I will be dedicating my blog to school and everything related to this wonderful but sometimes scary time. 
I will be running a series of blog posts that will touch on many important school related subjects, such as new teachers, new classes and even uniforms and backpacks.  I will be having a couple of giveaways and product reviews which might be interesting to many moms out there. 

Today's topic is "First Day Jitters"....whether your child has started school or will be starting in the next few weeks, I am sure your mind is consumed with back to school stuff so reading about it always helps and this is what the series is for.  This also applies for all homeschool moms and any parent who is involved in their kid's formation.  
We get anxious, excited and frenetic around this time; letting our children go can be so difficult sometimes.  This year I was in charge of taking "back to school" pictures for the yearbook and I was surprised when I saw many "veteran" middle school moms crying as much as kindergarten moms and then I realized that it never gets easier...moms are just a wreck when it comes to their kids...and it should be that way...
But that anxiety we feel is not even half as important as what our kids feel; no matter how old they are, our kids will always feel the "first day jitters" (and yes! I realize some kids are just "braver" than others, but they too get anxious even if it's not visible to us)

As parents, there are many things we can do to help with these jitters, which often last a week or so.  As kids adjust to their new classrooms, new teachers and even new classmates, parents tend to forget that transitions are never easy and kids need to have their feelings validated at all times, especially the little ones need some extra reassurance that everything will be fine and this is life experience that they must go through.  

Here are some tips for the first week of school (and even beyond), which will help both parents and children during this period of transition:
  1. Make sure your child has a good night's sleep.  Quality sleep is essential for children's growth and development and it is important that we pass on the skill of good sleep to children as early as possible to allow them to get the best benefit from an early age.  Kids are in school for up to 8 hours and it is crucial that they are well rested so they can be productive and in good spirits throughout the day. 
  2. Prepare nutritious and healthy lunches and snacks.  Children need healthy foods because their bodies require the nutrients to grow. A child who is given healthy foods will receive a lifetime bonus of a stronger mind and body. A child who is deprived of healthy foods or given too many unhealthy foods can face decades of physical and mental health problems. A well-fed child is most likely to be in a better learning disposition during school hours. 
  3. Get to know your child's teachers well. Talk with your child's teacher about the expectations he or she has for you and your child.  Talk about the goals you both have for your child.  Ask your child's teacher what you can do at home to support your child's academic achievements. 
  4. Be an informed parent. Maintain communication with the school throughout the year.  At the beginning of the year, review the school calendar, policies and procedures. Read all communications sent by the teacher and staff and ASK questions if you need more information. 
  5. Talk to your child! Talking to your child about his/her feelings and experiences of the first week of school is a pivotal factor in creating an open communication and fostering trust that will transcend during the whole school years.  Now is the time to strengthen that relationship with your child. 
  6. Validate your child's feelings. Understanding your child is just as important as loving her and validating your child's feelings makes her feel understood; it means you keeping your ego and desire to lecture in check. Validating your child's feelings also means that you don’t judge him or her. Instead, you simply acknowledge his or her feelings. This takes focus and discipline as parents.
  7. Get involved. Most schools offer parents the opportunity to get involved through volunteering or special events.  As parents, we should always strive to be part of our children's school life and get involved as much as possible.  Children feel important when their parents can attend special school events and other affairs, so plan ahead. 
Additionally, it is very important for children to feel comfortable with their school and surroundings.  Make sure you tour the school with your children and encourage them to develop strong relationships with teachers and other school staff members.  

Now as a bonus, here are some pictures of my girls on their first day of school.  Olivia is starting 2nd grade and my little Gaby is already in Kindergarten.  They had a great first day and we are looking forward to an amazing school year!  Good luck girls!  And good luck to all teachers and students and this back to school season! 

Tomorrow we will talk about lunch ideas and useful websites for meal planning. 

Happy blogging! ;)

1 comment:

Darby said...

Look how grown up they look!

This is our first year experiencing school. You posted some great tips to help adjust!