STARTING school can be an emotional time for all - and expectations can often be high for this new milestone in our child’s development.

As parents our desire is for our children to be happy, competent and confident in their school life but this brings its own pressure. Just recall the time when you arrived to a new job and the anxiety and anticipation you felt on your first day - you can be sure children are feeling pretty similar emotions.

Preparation is key for a smooth transition from home to school.

Top tips are:

• Talk and read books about going to school

• Do a ‘dummy run’ of the journey

• Practise putting on uniform especially PE kits

• Discuss what food they will take and how to use their new lunch box,

• Make friends with others who are also starting at the same school,

• Start now to get your child back into an earlier bedtime routine as this often slips during holidays.

• Clearly label uniforms, book bags and lunch boxes and set them out the night before school.

• On school mornings ensure that you allow plenty of time for breakfast, the journey, and settling them in the playground or classroom. Some children will skip away happily from a parent; others are more emotional. Remember we are all unique!

Don’t be surprised if when you pick your child up from their first day excited to hear how they have got on, you get responses such as 'fine' and 'ok'. Your child will need time to unwind and the likelihood is they will be ready to tell all when it is bedtime!


Next week: Teen anxiety