Freak Out-Free First Day of School


school-boy-bsWhen it comes to the first day of school, there are two kinds of parents:  The don’t-let-the-school-bus-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out types, who pour their celebratory cocktail before the first bell rings.  And then there’s the rest of us, who waffle between pride and anxiety as we boot our baby bird out of the nest for the first time.

Kindergarten used to be a child’s first school experience, but now we’re sending them to preschool as young as three years old.  This makes the transition a little easier for everyone, but with the advent of all-day kindergarten, that first day of big kid school is still a pretty big deal.

When I sent my daughter off last year, I sweated the small stuff:  Would someone help her open her lunch? (Yes.) Would they give her time to put on her gym shoes?  (Yes, but I bought the Velcro version just in case.)  And I sweated the big stuff too:  Would she talk to the other kids?  (Yes, but not until after Halloween.)  Would they take care of her?  (Better.  They taught her to take care of herself.)

If your baby is heading for the big K (as in, kindergarten), here are some first day of school tips to to help ease the transition for both of you.  Playing school, planning play dates, and practicing the new morning routine can help your child feel more comfortable on the first day of school so that when you walk away that first day, the only tears that might be shed are your own.

Photo: Octavio Lopez,