Up until now, you have been solely responsible for teaching your child everything they know. However, you are now at a point where you are giving someone else the authority to take on this important role. Starting school is a big step. As a parent it can be difficult to accept this giant leap in your child’s life where they are becoming more independent.
If necessary, put on a brave face as you drop off your child, and then go round the corner to weep. After all, in only a matter of hours your child will come bounding out, full of stories of the things they’ve done and the new friends they’ve made.
Of course, happy school days go way beyond those first day nerves. Going back to school after a period of homeschooling, Summer holidays, or even just the weekend can also be a stressful time for children. School brings studies, exams, awkward friendship issues, and dragging ourselves out of the house every morning on time. This can be a real drain on everyone’s energy and happiness! Follow our expert tips to help school days be some of your best days:
How you can let go and allow the teacher to take on their role:
- Be assured that you and the teacher have the same goal – a happy and confident child who is keen to learn.
- Most teachers have chosen the profession because they love what they do – they want to provide the best for your child – have confidence in their ability to nurture and inspire.
- They have trained for many years to become a teacher and have specialised in the workings of a child’s mind in the same way that a doctor is trained in medicine, or a solicitor is trained in law.
- Although you know your child best, the experience from the years that a teacher has spent working with other children enriches their understanding of how to get the most out of every personality.
- Remember that your child’s teacher will never replace you in your child’s affections.
What teachers want from YOU as a parent:
- Recognise your child’s teacher as your partner in their development, this will help you utilise the school as a powerful tool in their development.
- Treat teachers with respect and give teachers recognition for the hard job they do (what other professional has to work with 25 clients all in one room, all day, five days a week?).
- Keep the lines of communication open. Planned meetings, informal discussions and a home log book can all help overcome difficulties more effectively than simply leaving them for the teacher to ‘fix’.
- Offer teachers praise, where appropriate, for a job well done. We all appreciate positive feedback in our work.
- If you can, offer to help out in the class (but don’t be offended if the teacher declines your offer: it can be distracting for children to have parents in the classroom especially when they are still settling in).
Share your school experience with your child:
- Talk to your child about your own schooldays and try to share your happy memories. Hunt out your old school photos, books, reports or uniform and show them.
- Discuss your school achievements, friendships and favourite subjects. Show (if you still have them) your sporting trophies, your swimming badges, award certificates … Let them know what your school days were like.
- Focus on the positive things you experienced and how a negative situation can be turned into a positive. Reassure them that they can deal with anything – they have your support.