A collective sigh can often be heard that first day of school when kids come flooding back in the doors and parents are relieved that someone else is in charge of their kids during the week again. You did it! You survived the summer!
For some kids and parents though, it’s not all fun and games. The beginning of the school year can bring with it a host of new anxiety: Who is going to be my teacher? Will I be with my friends? What if I don’t fit in?
Here are some helpful tips for starting the school year off right:
1. Calm Yourself! : The very best thing you can do for your child is to not let your own anxious thoughts rub off on your child. Anxiety is contagious. Chances are, if you are anxious about the start of the school year, your child will be too. Instead, assure them that no matter who their teacher is – it’s gonna be all right. If they are not with their friends - they will make new ones. Yes, it may not be the ideal, but your child will get through it with your support.
2. Team up with the Teacher: No matter who your child’s teacher may be, you have at least one thing in common – you both want your child to have a great year. Parents often get all too wrapped up in what teacher they think is “best” for their child, when the reality is that school is a great opportunity for your child to learn to work with many different personalities. Whatever you do, please don’t complain about the teacher in front of your child. No matter the situation, badmouthing only further damages your child’s relationship with that teacher and nothing good can come from that. You must learn to work together to meet your child’s needs. You’re on the same team!
3. Make New Friends: Ya you! Your child is not the only one who needs to socialize! There are a host of other parents going through the exact same thing as you are! Find one you connect with and invite them over for tea! (Or mid-week wine!) Your kids can play while you strategize how to survive the rest of the school year and reminisce about how fast the little ones are growing up!
4. Volunteer: If you can spare an hour even one time during the school year to volunteer in your child’s class or on a school field trip, there is nothing more insightful than to see the classroom in its true form. Keep in mind that you are not a secret spy sent to collect evidence about that kid who picks on your kid at recess. Instead, focus on the fact that your child will be tickled pink that are there and the teacher will be grateful for your support. Brownie points for you!
5. Enjoy the Freedom: Listen, your kids are in capable hands. Rest assured that they are well taken care of and for crying out loud enjoy the time away from them! They’ll be that much more happy to see you when the bell rings at the end of the day.
The Good Enough Mommy
Tiffany Austin is a mom, a wife, writer, and educator living in Calgary, AB, Canada. Tired of never feeling “good enough” as a new mom, she began a blog to encourage other moms to feel confident and empowered in their own decisions. Her blog, The Good Enuf Mommy, includes everything from helpful parenting advice to product recommendations aimed at making the lives of moms just a little bit easier. Show her some love on Facebook and Twitter and if you like what you see sign up for her monthly newsletter!