Tips to help with first day of school “anxiety” for parents AND kids

This time of year right now, a lot of youngsters are either getting in gear for their very first day or school or have possibly already started schooling! Whether the first day is around the corner or your little one is already a little ways into their school year by this point, one thing is for certain, anxiety is REAL! The anxious, unsure feeling that stems from beginning school is something that affects your little ones, you as a parent, and the relationship between you and your children. Today, we’re going to dive into some ways to combat that anxiety so you can all face the school year as best as possible!

Parents

As a parent, you feel most comfortable when you are in control of the circumstances surrounding your children. This, without a doubt, will make it hard to give up some of that control as you send your child to school for the better part of the day, every day. Since you will have a hard time controlling what goes on during the school hours, the best thing you can do is a two-prong approach of proactivity and reactivity. Let’s talk about that.

Proactivity
As you’re preparing for the first day of school, or for any single day of school for that matter, taking a proactive approach in instilling the right values and information in your child will prove highly effective! Taking the time out ahead of that first day, or before any given day, to excite your child for upcoming friend-making and learning, as well as prepping with some practice in these fields ahead of time, will help them view the overall schooling experience as one to look forward to and enjoy. This will render them more engaged and successful, relieving you of some of that anxiety.

Proactivity Measure #1:
Find out if classroom rosters are available before the start of the school year. In doing this, you can try to connect with other parents and get play dates arranged, that way your little one at least feels comfortable with a few of the other kids in his or her class even before the first day of school. If the school year is already underway, all the same, get those play dates going!

Proactivity Measure #2:
Inquire in advance as to what some of the in class lessons will be, and see how you can begin to introduce those ideas to your child ahead of time. Being in a classroom after becoming accustomed to being home and around family for all this time can be daunting, and having some level of familiarity with what is happening in the classroom will be beneficial!

Reactivity
Remember that old commercial with the pitch “set it and forget it”… well shaping your child doesn’t quite work this way. While the proactive measures will be helpful in setting the ground work for how your child feels in the school setting, maintaining that level of comfort in the learning space will only be achieved by reacting accordingly to how they are doing in school based on that initial direction they were given by you.

Reactivity Measure #1:
Talk to your kid about their day. Simple as that. Create a warm environment with them, where talking about the intricate details of the day is welcome! Since you can’t necessarily be with them in the classroom all day, you might as well get to know what goes on during their time away at school. This will also help you be reactive in the event that there is something your kiddo is having a difficult time with in school.

Reactivity Measure #2:
Although homework may not exactly be a part of the picture in a lot of introductory schools, there may be some activities to take home and work on. Be a part of that process, wherever possible. It will help you to see how your child is grasping what they are being taught, and help you instill those ideas even further.

Reactivity Measure #3:
Another great way to do this is a method that Dreamtown Kids has actually mentioned once before, but it’s worth reiterating. That is to develop a great rapport with your youngster’s teacher or teachers to see the day-to-day and long-term progress that you kiddo is having socially and fundamentally. Establish a relationship and engagement with those who are helping educate your child, and you all can work as a team to achieve that.

Kids

While you, as a parent, view this transitional period one way, your child sees it in a totally different scope. It’s been a while since we’ve had our first school days, and it can show by the way we forget just how it feels and what helps in navigating the situation.

While the above mentioned ways to alleviate anxiety work well for parents, children don’t approach this anxiety in the overly-analytical way that us adults have to. They aren’t inconvenienced with such complexities, and they simply feel what they feel. The one thing that will help them overcome any anxious feelings — parental support, you doing what you can do to make the process as comfortable and rewarding for them as possible. And if you look to the aforementioned methods, everything will go superbly!

Conclusion

In conclusion, the first day or school or the first period of school for your little one can make for a lot of anxiety on your child’s part and your part alike. Doing whatever you and you child can do to make the transition as smooth as possible will be a big win, and starting with the tips listed here will make for a great foundation! To find out more ways to transition your child into their first school experience, look no further than the pros at Dreamtown Kids.

Sending them off to first day of school!

A lot of the fun that comes with bringing up a child is getting them prepared for all of those important milestones in their lives. There are going to be a lot of those days throughout their lifetime, but one of the first big events they’ll experience in their tiny little lives will be when they start getting prepared for their first day of school, how exciting! While exciting and bound to be a fun time of friend-making and learning, let’s make sure all of the administrative stuff to get your little one ready is addressed so things go as smoothly as possible. So here are some things to do in preparation for the start of school.

Tip #1: Fueling Up for Success

When you were getting ready for those Summer road trips with your little one, what was the first thing you would do before hitting the open road? That’s right, you’d fuel up! The same way, your child needs to be properly fueled for a big, excited, strenuous, and exhausting day. Make sure you start each day with a healthy and balanced breakfast that will give them the energy they need for a big day. And do the same for lunch, pack them something that will keep them powered-up and engaged through the hump! Some introductory schools at this level may provide meals like breakfast and lunch, but certainly don’t leave that up to chance, the success of your child’s first day (and every day thereafter) depends on it!

Tip #2: Learning Preparation

Going into a learning setting without any sort of warmup could prove extremely overwhelming to your child. In preparation for school, be sure to engage with your child in some of the intro-level learning that will take place. One key activity is reading. For your child to be familiar with reading, books, and stories will be one step amongst many that will make for a smooth transition into school. Based on the level of learning, some fun math activities could also prove helpful.

Being prepared with skills is important, but don’t stop there. Also be prepared with the tools for success. A proper backpack and supplies will ensure your child is ready for whatever task lies ahead of them. Be sure to also check any school resources you receive to see what they provide in the classroom as well as what they recommend to have ready come the start of the school year.

Tip #3: Tending to Emotional Needs

  • Tip #3.1: One thing that is going to be especially tough for your little one getting started is becoming accustomed to the idea of being away from home for hours each day. The key is to give them something that gives them that at-home comfort while they are away at school. In the event that nap-time is a part of the day, which is most likely will be for that first year at least, a great way to achieve this is by sending your youngster to school with a pillow for that time of the day. The simple addition of one small thing that feels like home will work wonders!
  • Tip #3.2: Talk with your child. Sure they’re young and may have a tough time grasping a lot of what is about to happen with school, but having a simple discussion will prove beneficial and make school feel familiar by the time they walk into the classroom. Also, make it a point to express the positives of school. Kids can often at a young age develop an inexplicable disdain towards school and to provide a positive framing for it will make their time more enjoyable from the get-go.
  • Tip #3.3: Tending to the emotional needs of your child doesn’t end at just speaking with you child. You’ll also want to speak with the person or people with whom your child is spending hours each day – his or her teachers. As you drop off and pick up your child each day, make an effort to engage in some level of communication to get an understanding of the teaching style, how your child is progressing, and being able to further reinforce consistent teaching outside of the classroom setting.

Conclusion

In conclusion, your child is getting ready for a very big milestone in their life, the first of many as a matter of fact! Being sufficiently prepared for this day will be key in ensuring the success of this next big step! These tips will prove helpful moving forward. To learn more about become prepared, as well as gaining the tools for success, contact Dreamtown Kids today!

The Pros and Cons of Co-Sleeping

When you bring a newborn into the world, you’ll have a lot of questions regarding best practices for all things from nutrition to hygiene and more. One area of infant care where you will definitely need some guidance is with sleeping arrangements and the consideration of co-sleeping. Today, we’re going to talk over some of the pros and cons of co-sleeping to help you understand if this would be an ideal practice for you. Let’s get started!

Pro #1: More Sleep for Your Little One
Your baby is going through a lot in his or her life at this point, and will need all the sleep they could get. Co-sleeping could be a great way to achieve exactly this! By being in close proximity to Mom and Dad, optimal comfort will be easy to achieve and sleep can come more easily. Furthermore if baby should need anything in the night, you can be there in a pinch to tend to those needs, bringing us to our next pro.

Pro #2: More Sleep for Mom and Dad
As a parent, you have the toughest job in the world. That means you’re going to need your rest, so you can keep doing the best job possible. Co-sleeping will help in this. By having baby nearby, you’ll shorten your travel time every time you need to nurse him or her back to sleep, change a diaper, or otherwise. Also, can literally rest easy having you little one close by where you know they are okay.

Pro #3: Closeness among Parents and Little One
To co-sleep means to be closer in proximity, and to be closer in proximity naturally has the effect of becoming closer in bond. You will have more opportunities to be around one another, become more familiar, and become more comfortable in doing this, so don’t be surprised if your parent to child bonds are strengthened as a product of co-sleeping!

While these are just a few of the pros of co-sleeping, there are still some potential cons to keep in mind when considering this practice within your own parenting.

Con #1: SIDs, Sudden Infant Deaths from Bed-Sharing
The first con is less of a con for co-sleeping and more of a con for a practice that is often confused for it, bed-sharing. While co-sleeping, or the act of sleeping within close proximity of your baby, is a good idea with lots of benefits, bed-sharing can be very risky. Whether it be due to an accidental parent roll-over, hair or threads getting wrapped around fingers or toes, or other potential things, there definitely notable consideration that come with the notion of this perceived form of co-sleeping.

Con #2: Intrusive to Mother and Father Relationship
While co-sleeping can oftentimes strengthen the relationships parent to parent and parent to child, there are times where a negative effect may be observed. Sometimes the act of having the little one in the room every night could make for less opportunities for parents to be intimate with one another. It’s advised that, while co-sleeping, to maintain good communication about relationship needs and make sure that everyone remains comfortable and happy with the arrangement.

Con #3: Parental Dependency
There is a chance that in applying co-sleeping practices, you baby may become a co-sleep-dependent toddler, becoming fussy at the notion of sleeping on one’s own. To prevent the occurrence of this, conduct thorough research into the best age to switch from co-sleeping to separate sleeping and monitor your situation well to see what you and your child may need in this circumstance.

In conclusion, there is a lot to learn in being a parent, and sleeping arrangements are certainly no exception to the seemingly-endless questions. To learn even more about topics surrounding co-sleeping, contact Dreamtown Kids for the best in child nurturing insights!