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How to Prepare a Child Going to School for the First Time

Updated on March 10, 2015
Felisa Daskeo profile image

I am a certified teacher and have been teaching for more than 30 years. I also write fiction and non-fiction stories.

First time in school is crucial in a child's life

Before you send your child off to school, there are some important things to consider that can change your child's attitude towards school.

Why Do Most Kids Fear School?

Most kids fear going to school for the first time. The word school means curtailment of freedom and some kind of punishment to most kids. Once they hear the word school, they think they are going to be given a difficult task and they are going to a place where they cannot be with their mom or dad and their favorite toys. They fear punishment from the teacher. They fear many things about school that is why you have to know first what kids fear in school and be able to deal with them.

1st day of school for young kids

Why do young children fear going to school for the first time?

  • They are so used to their comfort zone that they fear leaving home and facing another kind of world.
  • They think of the difficult task that they must do.
  • Mom and dad will not be there to take care of them.
  • They cannot bring their favorite toys to play with.
  • They cannot watch their favorite cartoon shows.
  • They think teachers are people who punish young kids for their mistakes.
  • They think everybody knows the lessons except them.
  • They cannot do what they want because school is like a training ground.
  • They don’t know where to pee and poop. They fear that they will mess in the classroom.
  • They think school is a place where children are forced to learn difficult things and punished for their mistakes.
  • They think that school is a place where they should behave and listen to the teacher.
  • They fear that they cannot do what teacher tells them to do.

These plus many more make children fear school. Remember that no matter what you tell the kids if that is their belief about school; it is very hard to change that. It is important then to remove these barriers first before sending children to school.

Although not all kids fear going to school for the first time, most children do.

I heard one young child telling her mom, “Mother, I don’t want to go to school because the teacher will spank me when I don’t know the answer.”

Another said, “I hate school because the teacher will teach us very hard lessons that I don’t know.”

This is tough because some children have their own beliefs about school and these beliefs must be vanished so that the kids will not have fear going to school for the first time.

Most young kids lack self-confidence because they have been too sheltered at home and they fear that they cannot do things in school. This makes it difficult for children to find their place in school especially if they know nobody in school.

Parents must make the child feel comfortable first before sending the child to school to avoid more problems. If you force your child to go to school, the tendency is for the child to develop fear. Do not make going to school something to fear for the child but make it an interesting and fun experience that the child will love to do everyday.

Eradicate the fear factor:

  • Start an Early Introduction

While still very young, introduce going to school to your child. Say for example, show a picture where the children are happily playing together and tell your child that the place is called school and that one day he is also attending school with other kids his age. It is important to talk about school to your child; just like going to a party or park where he can meet many friends and do fun activities together with them.

Talk about school. Tell your child about all the good things in school so that your child will understand what going to school is all about. Remember that when you say good things about a place, the children will be excited to go there.

  • Develop Self-Confidence in Your child

Developing the self-confidence in children will help them face different challenges in their daily undertakings. If the children have self-confidence, they will not fear school because they know that they can handle things in school and they know that even without their mom and dad, they can do things on their own.

You can develop the self-confidence of your children by teaching them to be independent when doing things. Give your children space to learn things on their own so that they will not always depend on you. This way, you are helping them prepare themselves for school.

Kids with strong self-confidence are those who are confident to go to school without feeling fear about anything. If the child is weak, the tendency is for the child to look for someone to help him.

  • Parks, Parties and Malls

Children who are exposed to the outside world are more likely to have no problems going to school for the first time than children who are always locked at home with only family members as company.

It is harder still for work at home moms or dads because often times the child is so attached to the parent who is always at home with the child. This is hard because the moment the child is going to school, he will fear the absence of her family.

As much as possible, slowly detach yourself from your child even if it is too hard to do it. This means, do not always bring your child where you are going, instead, let someone take care of your child while you do your shopping or other errands.

Bring your children to parks, parties and malls where they can meet other children. The more people your child meets, the more your child can adapt to circumstances. They will learn to go with other people and they will have no reason to fear other people when they are in school.

  • Teach Your Child to make Friends

The more friends your child has the more likely that he will be able to adjust to the children in school. Children who have many friends know how to play. They share their toys. They let other children play with them. They learn not to be selfish.

The common problem among children who fear going to school is that they fear that nobody will like them and nobody will play with them. That is not the case when children are exposed with different types of children around.

  • Go Shopping with the Kids

When the school year is almost starting; tell your child that you are going to buy his school supplies. Go shopping with your child and let your child have fun choosing his school supplies. When your child sees all the beautiful school supplies, he will more likely love going to school and using those things you bought.

  • Visit the School

During enrollment, it is always good to bring your child to the school where he is enrolling. Show your child around and talk about what he will do in school. If there is a playground, encourage your child to play for a while.

  • Introduce Your Child to the Teachers

Introducing your child to the teachers will make your child more comfortable in school when he starts school. Children are more comfortable with people that they have already met than those whom they never saw. Have a friendly chat with the teachers so that your child will see that you also know the teachers. This makes your child more at ease with the teachers.

It is not easy for young children to be sent to school for the first time. Both child and parents will be affected.


Kids do not need those beautiful gadgets. They need you and what you can do for them.

© 2013 Felisa Daskeo


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