I received these tips from Nancy Schulman, head of the Early Learning Center at Avenues: The World School, former longtime director of the renowned 92nd Street Y Nursery School, and co-author of several parenting books, to help ease separation anxiety and make the first day of school a positive experience. I wanted to share them with you because I thought some of you might find them helpful as well.
· ESTABLISH GOOD BEDTIME AND MORNING ROUTINES
· REVIEW TEACHERS NAMES AT HOME
· READ BOOKS TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT BEGINNING SCHOOL
· BE ON TIME FOR ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
· TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF
· CONVEY A POSTIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD SCHOOL—SMILE!
· GREET TEACHERS IN A FRIENDLY MANNER
· POINT OUT THEIR COAT HOOKS AND CUBBIES
· TELL YOUR CHILD WHERE YOU WILL BE AND BE THERE
· ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS (“I know it’s hard…you’ll be O.K”)
· DURING ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL –FOCUS ON YOUR CHILD. GIVE THEM EXTRA INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION AND QUIET PLAY TIME AT HOME AFTERWARDS
· SAY A SHORT GOODBYE BUT DON’T WAIT FOR A RESPONSE
· WAIT TO SOCIALIZE WITH OTHER PARENTS WHEN YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
· COMMUNICATE ANY SPECIAL CONCERNS TO THE TEACHERS
· BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR CHILDREN—THEY CAN DO THIS!
· TALK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN IN FRONT OF THEM
· ASK YOUR CHILD’S PERMISSION TO LEAVE
· BRING CAMERAS AND VIDEOS ON THE FIRST DAY-FOCUS ON THE MOMENT
· HAVE MORE THAN ONE ADULT BRING YOUR CHILD
· DON’T CARRY YOUR CHILD INTO SCHOOL
· OVERSCHEDULE YOUR CHILD AFTER SCHOOL
· FEEL GUILTY – YOU ARE GIVING THEM A GIFT!