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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Your first day away from your child

If you know that you are likely to feel anxious about your child starting school, then make plans to do something unusual once they have been dropped off, such as having a haircut, going swimming or meeting a friend for a coffee. This will help to distract you from worrying about your child who is probably quite happy and enjoying the exciting things on offer!

It is not unusual for young children to have a bit of an emotional wobble at the start of the day but generally they will be fine within a few minutes of being in a classroom with experienced adults who are used to working with such young children. This wobble can come at any time and so so not be alarmed if your previously settled child suddenly becomes upset at the start of the day. There are usually simple reasons behind this, such as being really tired, not feeling very well, worrying about something at home and in very rare occasions something at school. Again, make sure you talk to your child's teacher to share any information about possible causes and to work together to settle your child.

Make sure your child has time to relax, rest or play after school before you have dinner and start the bath and bedtime routine. They may bring home a reading book to share with you but this can wait until another time as at this stage this has already been a really busy day! A shared story before bed is a good time to have a quick recap of the day and may help your child to allay any anxieties and settle down so that they relax and have a good night's sleep.

Tip: At the end of the first day, and for the whole of their first week tour child will probably be really tired. Try not to keep asking about what they have done as children will usually volunteer information about the days activities in their own time. If you are curious then ask 'What did you really enjoy today?' as this is less intimidating that 'What did you do today?' and is also more likely to get a response, even if that response is simply 'playtime' or 'lunchtime'!

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