The first day at school can be a very stressful experience for both mother and child, yet there are things you can do to ease the situation. It is perfectly natural for your child to be apprehensive, after all, he or she has never before been separated from their mother, and equally, you would naturally feel a little concerned about leaving your child in the care of others, even if it is only for a few hours.
This would be your child’s introduction to the outside world and your choice of school is very important, so try to find a program that understands how young children learn best. There is, for example, a top-class kindergarten in Bangkok that follows the Reggio Emilia approach, which is recognised worldwide as a system of learning that is ideal for young learners. Once you have found the right early learning program, we advise you to take your child for a preliminary visit, as this will give him or her the chance to experience the environment prior to actually learning.
Removing the Stress
By taking your child for an informal visit to the kindergarten school a few days prior to starting the program, they will not feel so bad when it comes to learning there. Familiarity will ensure that your child is not fearful of a strange and new environment, and the school would be happy to see your child prior to starting the program. Once your son or daughter sees the other kids having fun, they will not feel threatened when it comes to mum leaving, and with some reassurance from you, the first day should be uneventful.
Preparing for the Big Day
Children have this uncanny ability to pick up on the emotions of their parents, so it is important that you do not show any signs of concern about leaving them at the school. Talk to your child about school in a positive way, highlighting the fun aspect, while also reassuring them that this will only be for a short time. If you are happy and upbeat about the new arrangement, this will go a long way towards calming your child, and rather than apprehension, your child should be looking forward to it.
Leaving your Child in the Care of Others
If possible, you should begin to leave your child with another family member, if only for a short time, as this prepares them for being without mum. You don’t have to go out, simply spend some time in another part of the house while your child is with someone else, and when they see you return, they will remember this when you take them to school for the first day. If you have a friend who has a child of a similar age, you could visit and leave your child in the company of your friend and their child for a short time, which helps the child adjust to a strange environment.
With a little planning, the first day at school should pass without incident and after a few days, it will become second nature to play with new friends for a while.