Wellbeing

10 Things No One Tells You About Starting School

By April 12th, 2022No Comments
  1. Toileting.
    Your child will need to do all the steps independently. From taking off clothing, checking the toilet seat, wiping correctly, putting on clothing, flushing, washing and drying hands. Not to mention just getting in and out of the toilet stall! And pack spares, just in case.
  2. Separation.
    Think of saying goodbye to your child like pulling off a Band-Aid. Make it short and sweet. A simple ‘Have a great day, I’ll see you after school, I love you.’ Show your child that you’re happy to be leaving them in a safe place
  3. Lunches.
    Mornings are hectic so try to make lunches the night before. Make them simple, with things your child will actually eat. Practise opening containers, packets and water bottles independently. Aim for healthy, nut-free choices and an ice-brick helps.
  4. Other Parents.
    While your child is trying to make new friends, you can too! Pay attention to who your child talks positively about and chat with their parents. Organise play dates to encourage positive friendships. Avoid parents who gossip and make parenting a competition.
  5. Bullying.
    This word gets thrown around a lot! Bullying is repeated verbal, physical or social behaviour intended to harm another. Talk to your child to determine whether issues they may have are teasing or more. Know the difference and get help if needed.
  6. Teachers.
    See them as partners in your child’s learning journey. Keep communication with them open and honest. If you are concerned, talk to them. If your child has issues, let them know what they are and what works best for them.
  7. Homework.
    Children, parents and teachers have different views on homework. So why do it? It’s important. It helps children develop independent work habits and it shows parents what and how their child is doing at school. Whatever age, read each night.
  8. School Traffic.
    In the mornings, leave earlier than you think and have a plan, plus a back-up plan, of where you will park. You will also need a wet weather plan and a plan for if/when you’re late for after school pick up.
  9. Let Them Do It.
    Your child can carry their own school bag. Buy one big enough to fit all their belongings. Make sure they wear it properly and don’t get tricked into carrying it for them. And stay away from shoes with laces until they can tie their own.
  10. School Events.
    There will be a lot of events at school throughout the year and it’s okay not to attend all of them. Negotiate with your child some events that you will come to. This is more realistic than promising you’ll come to everything.

Julie Dore is a teacher at St Gerard Majella School, Woree, a guest speaker and an author. Check out her website, for free resources and to buy a copy of ‘Prepping for School Success’.