That’s it; your mini has finished their (first) week at school. They looked so happy and proud, with their backpack on, that you didn’t dare to tell them that this will be it for the next fifteen years, or that the backpack only gets heavier as the years go on! And you were right. Banish all negative thoughts, don’t think of the obstacles and read our top tips for a stress-free September.
Top Tip N°1: Go shopping
There is nothing better to perk up moral than deciding to focus on your kids’ wardrobe, because what makes you happy makes THEM happy. Whether or not your child wears a uniform, think practically, especially for playtime: imagine that pretty dress getting torn, or those trousers with holes at the knees. Go in search of good quality, comfortable clothing that your Mini can take off and put back on again without the teacher’s help, with features such as elasticated waistbands, press-studs and shoes with Velcro fastening. Don’t get too attached; unfortunately the clothes that small children wear daily have a famously low life-expectancy…
Top Tip N°2: Two aprons are better than one
If school does not provide aprons, choose a style that you can buy in duplicate. No, not to act as an extra layer during winter, but for weekends when you don’t have the time or the energy to wash AND iron a paint-splattered apron that you found bundled up and left lying around on Friday night.
Top Tip N°3: Keep the rhythm
Even if sometimes it’s very tempting to let them sleep in, force yourself to put your child to bed and wake them up at the same time each day – including Saturdays. This is the key to grumble-free mornings. If your bedtime routine has been disturbed during the holidays, bring bedtime forward by twenty minutes each evening. And don’t forget: between the ages of 3 and 6, a child needs between 10 and 12 hours of sleep to be manage during the day.
Top Tip N°4: Start the day off right
Sleeping is hungry work, so do not skip breakfast. Get your Mini up early enough for them to have the time to eat calmly and not in the pushchair on the way to school. Prepare them a filling and balanced breakfast, including cereal, toast, a dairy product and fruit juice, to recharge their batteries and keep them going until lunchtime.
Top Tip N°5: The parent-child birthday party
If your child is born at the end of the calendar year and therefore at the start of the school year, take the opportunity to invite their new friends and their parents over to celebrate. If you can, set aside two rooms so that the kids can play together, leaving you time and space to chat to the adults over a cup of tea and to get to know each other better than a quick hello around the coat pegs each morning. It’s always nice to know people when it comes to parents’ evenings or the school fair. Plus, if it all gets too chaotic, you can help each other out.
Top Tip N°6: Get your child involved
Ask them to help label their clothes, cover their books, write their name on their exercise books, pack their bags and make them the star of their new chapter, so that they go to school happily – at least for the first few years!
Top Tip N°7: Make time for extra-curricular activities
Learning is good, but activities are even better! Drama, dance, music lessons, gymnastics, football… help your child choose and activity, and go at least once a week. Whether they are sporty or creative, this is a great opportunity for them to make new friends, and to relax outside of school.
What are your top tips to make going back to school hassle-free?
Photos : © Et Dieu Créa