First Day of School Jitters

211-2Backpack full of school supplies? Check. Wholesome, nutritious lunch packed? Check. Fabulous first day of school outfit? Check. Everything is in order the morning before the first bell of the school year rings.

And then it hits—the first day jitters. We’ve all experienced it. Whether it’s the first day of preschool / kindergarten or going to a new school, those butterflies in our tummies are familiar to everyone. As parents, you want to do everything you can to make the first day a successful day. But after they get on the bus or walk through that door, it’s hard not to worry about how things will go.

Really, what can you do? Once they walk out that door, onto that bus, or into that classroom, mom and dad powers are out of range, right? Not exactly. You’d be surprised at the simple actions you can take that will make all the difference to your kids. Here are some back to school tips to make your child’s first day go a little smoother:

  • Eat a nutritious breakfast: Even though the first day jitters might have their stomach tied in knots, it’s important to give your child the best start possible with a breakfast full of protein and nutrients. Fueling up will keep them on their A-game physically, mentally, and emotionally. Better yet, if the whole family can eat breakfast together that first morning of back-to-school, your child will really be feeling the love as they head out the door.
  • Get excited: They might be focused on the scary part of not knowing what to expect. Help them to imagine all the exciting new things they will be doing at school, from art projects to field trips to fun sports in gym class. Try writing a letter to the teacher together about how excited you both are for the school year to begin.
  • Take it slow: Making friends can be tough, especially in the first weeks of school. Instead of trying to make friends with everyone at once, remind them they have a whole year to make friends and, if they are nervous, to just focus on talking to one or two new classmates each day until they feels comfortable making friends.
  • Build them up: You know your child inside and out. Give them a few compliments before they walk out the door. Remind them of how their smile lights up the room and how much fun they are to be around. Send them off with a little note in their pencil case to surprise them when they get to school.
  • Reassure them: A school day can feel like a pretty long time. Remind them that, no matter how the day goes, you will be waiting to give them a big hug when they get home, and how excited you are to hear all about the first day of school. Plan a special (healthy!) after school snack the two of you can enjoy together.

For kids, there are few experiences more intimidating in life than the first day of preschool / kindergarten or going to a new school. Luckily, a little bit of extra attention and hugs from loved ones are enough to make the first day jitters melt away. Use these back to school tips to make the first day a great day!