How do I ease those first day of school nerves?

I think nervousness, and excitement around the first day is such a normal part of the school experience. Children wonder who will be in their class, will their teacher be nice and will they feel comfortable. Skilled teachers always recognize that and make your child feel welcome right from the moment he or she crosses the threshold of the classroom.

However, as a parent, I have always found that familiarizing my children with their environment helps. Many schools have orientations where kids can walk around the classroom and meet the teacher. Also, discussing with your child his or her hopes of the year can alleviate some anxiety. I also read lots of stories to my kids, including Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes, about a mouse’s first day at nursery school. I also found that allowing my kids to select their first day outfit ahead of time helped them to feel good about themselves and how they walked into their classroom.

Deborah McLean
Head of Lower School
Poughkeepsie Day School
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603