Separation anxiety might be the bulk of what you have to deal with on the day, and this could hinder them from socializing and learning. Easing children into school life is not a one-day process and it starts way before school begins.
Preparing ahead of time
Ideally, you should start preparing kids for school a few weeks before. You may introduce them to the usual school activities by having them play school with dolls and stuffed animals. Through this activity, you can make children understand how to properly act in the classroom. Adjusting their sleep schedule a few weeks before school begins helps a lot in preparing them too.
It would also help familiarize them with the school and who they will be spending time with. You could bring the kids to the school and have them meet their teachers. Arranging playdates with their future classmates might also help a lot to reduce their uncertainty about school.
On the first day of school
On the day itself, try not to rush the morning routine. Make sure that you go through with it calmly so as not to build anxiety, but do not take too much time. You might want to get the kids to school early to give them time to settle into the environment.
Ask the teacher beforehand if children are allowed bring comfort objects from home and keep it beside them during class. If not, you can tell the kids that their friend from home could stay in the safety of their backpack.
Most of the time, saying goodbye is the most difficult part to handle on the first day of school, but you MUST say goodbye. Some parents just sneak away from their kid’s sight and this is not a good practice. Leaving without saying goodbye may induce insecurity for children and affect their trust in you.
Keep your goodbyes short and sweet, and make sure to leave promptly afterwards. Children may think that school is not good if it takes you too long to say goodbye or if you are hesitating to leave.
Unless the teacher recommends that you stay with them, try not to linger where the kids can see you. Lingering could distract them and hinder their involvement in school activities, so just let them know that you will be there to pick them up later. Meltdowns are likely to happen when saying goodbye but you can always ask the teacher for help if it gets too much for you to handle.
Putting on a happy face for your kids on their first day of school goes a long way in soothing them. If you act calm and assured during their first day of school, your kids can reflect the attitude. Of course, love and care are crucial in comforting your child and boosting their confidence to start a fresh phase in their young lives.