Parenting Tips

7 Tips for Your Toddler’s First Year at School

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Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday when you went in for your first pre-natal check up? And now it’s time to send your little one to school. From infant to toddler to school-going-child, time just seems to be flying by. If you’re a first-time parent, then the first year of school seems all the more over-whelming.

It’s not just the child, but parents too need to be prepared for the changes that will come about in their lives. Here are some tips to help you handle the critical first year effortlessly.

  1. Talk to your child about Big School

Your baby is going out of his/her comfort zone for the first time. This is bound to cause some anxiety. Be casual, and don’t overdo it. But you have to make sure they are aware of what is going to happen. Get them excited about the fact that they will be meeting new friends, and enjoying new activities.

  1. Ask Questions

Starting from orientation day, all the way to the end of year PTA, if you have any doubts about the work your child will be doing, feel free to raise your hand. You need to know how your child is doing on a continuous basis, not just at the end of session. Asking the teachers and the Principal is the best way of staying informed.

  1. Make Friends, and Stay Connected

School friends are not just for kids, even parents need to connect with a new social circle. Talk to parents you meet at pick-up and drop-off, and get acquainted with parents of your child’s friends. Get yourself added to Whatsapp groups of parents, Facebook pages and mailing lists of schools.

  1. Be sure to Schedule Appropriately

For your child, the first year of school will be tiring and sometimes overwhelming. Don’t load the rest of their day with activities. Give them time to absorb all the new things they are being exposed to.

On the flip side, parents should be aware that there are quite a few off-days in the school calendar. Plan your trips and provisions for back-up care well, especially if you’re working.

  1. Label Everything

Children will lose a ton of stuff in their first year (and perhaps later years too!). Tiffin boxes, water bottles, art supplies, even the odd shoe. This is normal. Your child has always had someone to account for things that go in the bag, school is the first place they will be learning to take care of their own stuff. Making sure you label their things may help in getting some of it back. Add your contact details on the inside of the school bag (for safety it shouldn’t be easily visible all the time).

  1. Get Involved

Volunteer for fests and sports days, show-and-tell or parent-reading sessions, and even school picnics. Get involved in any school activity that you can. Your kids will be happy to see you, and the school will appreciate your involvement.

  1. Relax, and Have Fun!

School is essentially supposed to be a fun learning place. Don’t let your child feel stressed about it, and don’t let it stress you out either. Remember to have fun.

You can do this! Be sure to take lots of photos and do what you can to preserve memories. Trust your child, the school, and yourself. It’s going to be a good year.

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Nupur Netan Sachdeva, founder of the Practical Mum blog, writes about simplifying parenting for the hyper-connected mothers of today. She has worked the corridors of financial markets for more than a decade, and may at this point, have nothing but black coffee flowing through her veins. Follow her on Instagram @practicalmum where she shares tales of raising a happy & healthy child in the maximum city of Mumbai.