While they may appear to be taking it all in their stride, your teen is bound to be feeling a little nervous starting secondary school this autumn. Understandably, while it is a big day for your son or daughter, you too may feel overwhelmed at saying goodbye to your child as they start a whole new chapter.
If your little one is embarking on the big primary to secondary transition, the following ten tips for their first day will make it easier on both of you.
1. Have their uniform ready
Just like you did when they were younger have their uniform laid out in their room on the first morning. This will be one less thing for them to worry about – but you don’t need to do it every day!
2. Don’t be late
While your teen is not going to let you walk them right up to the door, do ensure they get to the school with plenty of time to spare. Even if they’ve been in the building before everything will be new and different and it will take them some time to find everything.
3. Be there when they are finished
If it is safe to do so allow your teen to walk home with friends. This will give them a chance to get to know other people in their year, rather than rushing out to you at the end of the day.
4. Give them plenty of lunch
The day gets a lot longer when you little one is in secondary school so make sure they have plenty of lunch to keep them going.
5. Don’t push them
Don’t push your child to talk about their day when they come home - they are likely to be extremely tired, drained and even emotional. Do show them that you are there for moral support though, and that when they feel like talking you’re there.
6. Don’t let your fears show
If your child is shy and you are nervous about them making friends don’t let your concerns show. Labelling them as being quiet or even loud will mean they are more than likely to always be this way, when, in fact, starting a new school may bring out a whole new child.
7. Don’t cry
Wait until they are in class before you let the tears roll! They might not be the four-year-old that you dropped off at primary school many moons ago but don’t be surprised if you do start to well up – just don’t do it in front of them!
8. Take photos
While it can be emotional for both you and your child, starting a new school is an incredibly exciting time, and one that needs to be cherished. Take photos of your youngster in their uniform before they leave for the day, or even candid shots of them getting ready – you will cherish them forever, trust us.
9. Don’t take the whole family to drop them off
If you are driving your teen to the school gate avoid bringing the whole family along, unless you have to of course. Your teen will be nervous and having too many people around may make them feel too embarrassed to talk to you about their concerns.
10. Don’t make comparisons
If this is your second child to go to secondary school or other extended family members have been through the system, avoid making comparisons between them and your child. It can take some people longer to find their way, but that doesn’t mean they won’t.