Guide to tackling first day nerves

We’ve discussed how exercise can help with the new bedtime routine, but what about the back to school butterflies?

Unfortunately, first day nerves are something most of us will never grow out of. Whether it’s our first day at nursery, high school or work.
As well as being a great opportunity to spend time as a family, Summer can also be a dreaded six week countdown for some children. Even for those going back to the same class of 30 children they left behind in July, the first Monday morning is never easy.

Here are a few tips from some of our mums and dads at the SwimStars office:

Share your stories
As parents, it’s our job to make sure our children are reassured when they’re nervous so it seems wrong to tell them the difficulties we faced when we were at school, but this can be really comforting for some. By telling them about the time we dropped our spag bol over the food hall floor or had to do PE in mismatching lost property kit, they realise that these things happen to the best of us – even mum and dad!    

Know your stuff
If you can, find out what your child will be learning so you can both read up on it beforehand. Don’t treat it as homework, make it fun. If it’s the Tudors, read some Horrible Histories before bed - if they're not too scary!

Make plans
If they’re really dreading the first day back, plan to do something fun afterwards. Go out for tea, watch a film, call at the park on the way home – something they can focus on during the day.

Go shopping
It might be easier to pick up their new stationery and lunch box during your weekly supermarket trip but try and get your little one involved. Ask them to come with you and pick their favourite; maybe even encourage them to point out some food for their packed lunches whilst you’re there.

Something to take
Let them choose an item to take with them on their first day back; maybe a small toy to keep in their bag to ease their anxiety throughout the day. Even something silly like a keyring can comfort them until home time.