First day jitters for young children is very common. One thing that helps ease this is for them to have visited the classroom one on one to meet the teachers and see the classroom. Even children returning to our school will have some anticipation around the first day of a new school year. Here are some Kind and Firm responses to this:
- “You look really scared. It’s ok, many children are scared on their first day of school. What I know is, it gets better. “
- “Being brave means doing things even when you are scared.”
- “Your teachers are there to help you feel more comfortable.”
- “I know you are scared and I want to hear all about your first day after school.”
- “You got this!”
Try not to promise them they are going to have a great day or to ask them to not feel scared. When children can work through their own feelings at their pace, their confidence and self-esteem increase.
When you pick them up, try to remember to first say nothing other than “Hi” or “I happy to see you.” Allow them to tell you when they are comfortable.
When they are ready, you might ask:
- Who did you eat snack with? – Easy to remember
- What is your job for the week? – Focus on contribution
- Tell me about someone who was kind today. – Focus on kindness
- Would you like to hear what my day was like? – Modeling
- You look happy/sad/thoughtful. Can you tell me more? – Reflective
These are just a start…I am sure you can come with things as well.