Back to school: Parents’ positive attitude goes a long way to happy school days

Here's how to help your child make smooth transition from home to pre-school

First day of school jitters are a normal right of passage, but for kids experiencing their first day of school ever, parents can do a lot to set the tone for years of happy school days ahead.

“Send the message that you’re confident,” said Oak Bay Parent Owned Preschool teacher Amy Grbavec. “If you exude an air of confidence about preschool or school, your child will feel that and they will have the same confidence about school.”

As an early childhood educator for 23 years, Grbavec has some experience with ensuring a smooth transition to school.

“As parents, we’re excited about this new stage in our child’s life. But it’s very abstract to children,” she said.

She lists a variety of ways to ease your child into a new learning environment. “Read books about it, ***Maisie Goes to Preschool is a good one, ask the librarian for suggestions.”

She also advises moving bedtime back, so your child is well rested for school.

“About two weeks prior, start tapering your bedtime routine. Most people are in summer mode so you need to transition to an earlier time, just five or 10 minutes a day. A rested mind is a rational mind,” she said.

Having a well thought out bedtime routine is also helpful for young children. “It’s important for their security, they have a bath, maybe you read them a book and they know what comes next.”

Planning the morning routine is just as important. “Try to make it as stress-free as possible. Having things ready the night before is a big help.”

Parents can help by promoting self care as well, that means letting kids choose new shoes and snack kits for school. “They feel empowered and a sense of freedom when they can untie or unvelcro their own shoes. … Make extra time for those kind of things that they may need to do at school. If your school has indoor shoes and outdoor shoes, let them choose a new pair of shoes – how exciting is that?”

Those few small things will help them feel empowered and special during their time away from their parents.

Be prepared for pick up time as well. “Have a snack and a drink ready. They may have had snack time at school, but that doesn’t mean they ate anything. And don’t plan too many new things. Wait a month until you put them in swimming lessons or soccer, or keep it to Saturdays.”

Be patient and keep a positive attitude toward school yourself and your kids should follow suit.

Just Posted

Home care transition could exasperate worker shortage: Seniors advocate

Advocate fears impact of eight-hour shift model on an industry under stress

United Way to recognize outstanding community members

The annual Spirit Awards celebration will feature 13 award recipients

Rickter Scale: More smoke and secondhand hindsight

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

How worried should we be about the bees?

One bee species hasn’t been seen since 1990

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

‘Cutthroat’ sport of wine tasting happening in B.C.

BC Tasting Games are underway with competitions in three Okanagan communities.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Most Read