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Parents' Guide to the First Day of School

Updated on August 14, 2013

Well, it's finally here. The day you've been waiting three months for - the first day of school. You've purchased all necessary school supplies, outfitted the children with new clothes or uniforms, packed the lunchbox with delicious goodies that will be consumed with zealousness, set an early bedtime weeks in advance so the little ones will be eager to awake on that special first day and done everything you can think of to prepare for the momentous occasion.

But wait! The kids are all ready and something's not right. What did you forget? You forgot to prepare yourself emotionally for the first day of school and it's hitting you right now.

There are many articles online and in magazines on how to prepare your children for school but far fewer telling how to prepare yourself.


1. When bringing your child(ren) to school on the first day (or even the first week), don't linger in the halls or the classroom unless you have permission from the teacher or principal.

2. The first day is not a good time for a parent-teacher conference. If you have some real concerns, tell the teacher to call you at her convenience to set up a mutually agreeable time to meet and discuss them. Or, you could send a note with your child.

3. Take your child's lead. It may be that he or she is eager and excited for the new adventure. It may also be that it is a frightening and unsure time. Take a minute to reassure your child, offer encouraging words and give a quick hug and kiss (if it won't embarass the youngster). Then leave. Quickly.

4. A prepared child is a less anxious child. All necessary school supplies should be purchased and provided on the schedule set by the school or teacher. Lunch money or a lunch box ready for the day. Student drop-off in the morning and pick-up in the afternoon should be pre-arranged and your child confident in the procedure.

5. Complete and return all paperwork required by the teacher promptly.

6. Offer to help the teacher if you are able, but don't be disappointed if she's not quite ready for that. Many teachers prefer to establish rules and routines the first couple weeks of school and then welcome any and all help from interested parents.

7. Make sure your child eats a good breakfast.

8. DO NOT cry in front of your child. Save it for the parking lot.

9. Find a group of like-minded moms and go for coffee after the school bell rings. Toast each other or cry in each other's cups.

10. Stop worrying! It really will be ok.


Submit a Comment

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, htodd, for stopping by and commenting.

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 5 years ago from United States

    First day of school is really nice ..That's great info

  • TanyaBlanck profile image

    TanyaBlanck 6 years ago from Moorpark, Ca

    So true! As a former teacher and emotional parent you are right on the money! I am reading this a little late, but I actually managed to follow most of those guidelines on the first day. Number 8 was impressive for me. My baby just started kindergarten!

  • mrsbloomingrose profile image

    mrsbloomingrose 6 years ago from Virginia

    Wish I found this earlier when my kids first started school. One thing we always do is take pictures. The first day of school is such a special memory for both children and parents. I know the first day is really hectic and exhausting for teachers and open house as well.

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks for your comments, raeyecarlos, joekreydt and cardelean. The more everyone is prepared, the better it is for all.

  • cardelean profile image

    cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

    Oh I wish all parents would read these tips! I have found that more parents have problems with the first day of school than children ever do. Teachers want and need to know if there are any medical or learning problems that children have but a note will do the trick. The teacher is so busy guiding children into the classroom and settling everyone in that there is no time for lengthy conversations. Thanks so much for this great guide.

  • profile image

    joekreydt 6 years ago

    this is great! i'm definitely going to re read it if i ever become a parent!

  • raeyecarlos profile image

    raeyecarlos 6 years ago

    True, true. Often it's the parents who fail to get themselves ready to begin letting go of their children. Useful hub. :)