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Let's face it.... there are going to be tears!
I am not talking about those little ones that gather in the corner of your eye and that you brush off to the side of your cheek. I am talking about a full capitulation of head on steering wheel, face full of mascara and searching for cake, type of tears.
Some ways to avoid this, however, is to plan!
1) Be organised. Have all school gear out the night before reading for in the morning.
2) Add an extra 15 minutes to your time plan. Someone is bound to forget something, lose something or spill something.
3) Take photos at home before your child leaves for school. The emotions of first day blues might make the camera less of a priority once they are in the classroom and the hustle and bustle begins.
4) Write a 'love note' for your child's lunch box like, "I love you and I cannot wait to hear all about your day. Make sure you listen to the teacher xox Mum and/or Dad". While you are at it... write a love note for yourself! Something like... "I am okay. They/he/she is okay. We are okay. Be gentle with yourself."
5) Plan activities for your day if you are not working. Nothing is worse than watching the clock!
6) Decide from Day 1 how you want your school routine to look. I remember when I was young, mum had an afternoon routine of come home, school shoes at the door, have a bath or shower, school work and snack followed by play or TV. I think in hindsight, she made us have the shower early that way we wouldn't go play in the dirt in the afternoon. However this helped because she could get the washing on ASAP if need be.
7) Invest in some self-care. Plan a rewarding activity for yourself. Parenting is not easy, and letting go... well, that is like an emotional cyclone. Remember, you can't help others if you can't help yourself. You heard me!
8) Tell people you work with that it is your child's first day at school and your emotions might be a little off. Come on, you should prepare them!
9) Buy some party poppers. When you and your child are in your car, pop some party poppers together. Come on, you know you want to be the 'fun parent'.
10) Listen to your child when they tell you how their day was. Be fully present, i.e. stop what you are doing, look at your child and listen, even lowering your body so your eyes meet at the same level whilst you are talking. You want them to know that you care (which of course, you do) and that the time spent talking and sharing their day is a time when mum and/or dad have their full attention. If they know this they will probably be likely to want to invest in this behaviour of sharing because it gets them what they want, and that is you.
Do you have any tips that you could add to the list? We would love to hear from you!