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One of the biggest milestones in your child’s life is that first day of school, which can be almost as hard on you, the parent, as it is on them. While it may seem like your child was just learning to talk, that time goes by quickly and before you know it, you’re buying all those necessary school supplies and outfits. Consider these tips to make that transition much easier.
Schedule Playdates with Neighborhood Children
If your child doesn’t already have a friend the same age that will be going to school for the first time too, try to arrange a playdate. While it can be harder if you’ve just purchased one of the new homes in Austin, TX or any other city and you don’t know anyone yet, make the effort to reach out, perhaps via a site like Nextdoor.com, Facebook groups or even by attending a parent meeting at the school. If you son or daughter knows someone who will be in the same class, that first day will feel a lot more comfortable, setting them up for a greater chance of success.
Visit the School
While many schools host special back-to-school nights and other events for kindergartners, if yours doesn’t, be sure to make arrangements to visit the school with your child so you can both see the classroom and meet the teacher well before that anxious first day. Often the most anxiety comes from simply going to a place that’s brand new. Once you’ve been, it takes that factor out of the equation.
Talk to Your Child
Talk to your child about how he or she feels about going to school for the first time. Excited, happy, anxious, afraid? You might even tell your own story about what it was like for you. Try to provide a confidence boost by talking about positive experiences, and all the things you think your child will probably enjoy about school for extra reassurance.
Shop for Clothing and School Supplies Together
Some 29 million households across the U.S. planned to spend $27.6 billion in total on back-to-school gear, or an average of over $500 per family for the 2018-2019 school year. That’s a big chunk out of almost anyone’s budget, so you’ll want to do it right. Make the most of the experience by shopping for most of those new school outfits and supplies together, as a shared, bonding experience. Within some boundaries, including the list typically provided by the school, allow your child to pick out some of his or her own items to bring to school. You might even want to let them pick out decorative stickers that can be used to personalize some items.
Keep in mind when trying on clothing that while you may want your child to look stylish, avoid pressuring him or her into wearing something that feels uncomfortable or that they just don’t like. That can quickly turn what could have been a positive experience into something negative.