Tomorrow is the first day of the school year. I will be celebrating it for the 53rd time in my life. I started as a five year old and never stopped. But the feeling has never changed, I am nervous but anxious to see what the new year has in store for me. My stomach always gets a little crazy before I begin but it settles down once I know that everything is going to be fine. My husband, Chris, has a whole different story to tell. As a child, he did not anticipate the new year with such high hopes. Last week he said that just the thought of new school supplies and Back to School sales make him sick to his stomach. Chris is very social and has attention issues. Therefore, school was not always a positive experience for him. Bottom line . . . the beginning of school has a different meaning for parents based on their past experiences. Do you pass these feelings onto your child?
Talk to them about the beginning of a new school year. Ask them to give some examples of positive things that happen at school. Maybe they are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Or perhaps they can't wait to meet their new teacher and classroom. On the other hand, what makes them anxious? Do they dread homework? Getting up early? School lunches?
Ready or not - set the alarm, lay out the first day outfit, pack a lunch and send them off with a big hug and a kiss! Side note, please don't tell them how much that you will miss them. (It stresses some kids out to the point that they are worried about you and can't even function.) Tell them that you can't wait to hear about their day.
Final note, don't question them to death. Start with tell me something good that happened today. What did you play at recess? Most kids if asked, "What did you do today will shut down. I know I can't remember when people ask me questions like "What did you do this weekend?" Of course, other children can talk for hours about their day. You know your child best.
Have a great 2017 - 2018 school year!