Is your child going to school anytime soon? If yes, your brain might be boggling about school supplies, new people, food, traveling, safety, and whatnot.
Well, this behavior is completely human!
Sending your beloved little angel to school is a huge step for parents, and it might take some digging around to prepare yourself for it.
We bring you 8 things parents should understand before their children start school.
Get to know the school premises and staff.
Before your child’s first day at school, take some time out to visit the school premises with them.
This would help make them feel comfortable and more familiar with the surroundings.
Show them where their classroom, the playground, and the canteen are. If possible, introduce your kids to their teacher and some other staff members. Make sure you let them know who they can approach if they need help with anything. This will help your child stay calm and prevent anxiety on their first day at school.
Start thinking long-term.
As your child starts school, it’s important to make plans and strategies for the years to come. This includes a multitude of things from different aspects of life.
For example, you would need to continuously update children’s books at home, so they turn into strong readers.
Similarly, you might need to buy digital devices (tabs, laptops) for advanced learning when they are 10 years or above. Moreover, when they hit 18 and start driving themselves around, you’d definitely want to be covered by car insurance.
The list goes on and expands in multiple directions.
So keep your mind open to new perspectives and long-term plans. That’s the best way to help your child every step of their education and career path.
Carefully notice the new things they learn.
Your child will be learning many new things when they start school, and it’s important to be attentive to their behavior.
For example, they’d say various greetings, alphabets, numbers, color names, and other new stuff they learned. In that case, you must keenly listen to them and appreciate their learning journey.
But at the same time, you must be prepared for “not so good” things as well. Your child will interact with children from different backgrounds and age groups and might learn inappropriate words or manners.
So, pay close attention to what they say and do at home. You might want to sit with them, talk about what’s good and bad, and do your best to nurture good behavior at home.
Set realistic expectations.
Remember: school is a place to learn and not just get perfect grades.
So, instead of setting high academic expectations, focus on your child’s mental well-being and social and emotional development.
See if they can communicate their thoughts or not. Do they ask questions, or are they too shy?
Talk to them, ask them about their day, encourage them to make friends and be kind to others, and help them participate in class lessons.
After all, good interpersonal skills and an empathetic personality will help your child succeed in life more than good grades.
Make sure they sleep well and eat healthy.
This is important for both physical and mental health.
A good night’s sleep will help your child concentrate better and feel energetic throughout the day. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems, and learning difficulties.
Plus, make sure your child eats well. Children these days can be overly picky when it comes to food. But try your best to feed them properly; avoid processed food and try to incorporate fresh and healthy meats, veggies, and fruits in your child’s diet.
If you struggle with feeding your child a healthy diet, here are a few tips to make your mealtimes easier and fun.
Teach them basic hygiene habits.
Brushing teeth, washing hands, and maintaining personal hygiene are extremely important when you’re in a social setting. Plus, with Covid SOPs still being followed in some countries, children might also need to learn about safe distancing and regularly sanitizing their hands and accessories.
So, you must instill these habits in your child before they start going to school. Show them how to do these things and help them practice regularly, so they don’t have problems doing it on their own.
You would need to make time for them.
As your child gets promoted to the next grade, their daily schedule will get pretty hectic. This might bring a little gap or standstill in the parent-child bond.
So, remember to make time for your child as they get busy with school and let them know that you are always there for them.
Whether it’s reading together at home, accompanying them to extracurricular events, or helping them explore their talents and interests, make sure you dedicate at least some of your time and attention to them.
Encourage them to be independent.
School is when children learn to be independent and responsible for themselves.
Encourage your child to do things independently, such as getting dressed in the morning, packing their school bag, and tying their shoelaces.
This will not only help them become more independent, but it will also boost their confidence and prepare them for their adult life ahead.