How To … Make the school run fun
It’s back to school for pupils in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West this week.
Experts say these can be some of the most frightening days and weeks of a young child’s life – and they have advice on how to cope when your nervous schoolgoer clings to your legs and refuses to let go.
Childline’s KwaZulu-Natal director Linda Naidoo and educational psychologist Jenny da Silva shared these tips for keeping yourself and your kids happy and sane when the school bell rings.
» Talk about your own school days, particularly the things you loved and what made your experiences special.
Children love hearing these stories, and it gives them the chance to ask questions about their own fears.
» Teach your child how to handle social situations.
Making friends is not always easy on the first day, especially for shy children, but a friendly greeting and an offer to share lunch might just break the ice.
» Ease your child’s fears by telling them what to expect in class and in the playground.
Parents need to be informed about the curriculum and activities their kids will engage in before school starts.
Use this information to get your child excited about school.
» Make sure the child has had adequate sleep and a good breakfast.
Children need nutritious food for their brains.
» Leave home as early as possible so that you can spend time with your child before school starts.
Being late, dropping a child and rushing off is not very conducive to making a child happy on his first day of school.
» Peeping through the window to see if your child is crying will do no good.
Once you have seen your child has a chair and table to use, is comfortable and has met the class teacher – leave.
If you are concerned, call the school later to ask if your child has settled in.