Separation anxiety is very, very real—I have it, my friends have it, and you, dear reader, probably have it. Your kids, up until this point, have had a series of first. They’ve started walking, they’ve started talking, they may have even learned an expletive or two. This, however, is the first ‘first’ that takes them away from you. This is the first day of their education—the very thing that will, likely, draw them away from your home.
To be honest, the anticipation is one of the most challenging parts of this. Your kid is likely excited to start something new. They’re going to meet new friends, learn new skills, and develop a schedule for the first time. I would, however, like to offer a few pieces of advice to ease the transition. Once the first day is out of the way, you’ll find yourself enjoying the free time.
- Practice makes perfect. Before the big day, bring your child to the school to meet his or her teacher. Practice making lunch in the morning and having your child open everything on his or her own. Going through these motions will make the first day of school a bit easier for both of you.
- Develop a safety system. The scariest part of the first day of school is leaving your kid with relative strangers. It is every parent’s worst fear to attempt to pick their child up only to discover someone has already taken them. When I was a kid, my mother developed a password system—if someone, a friend, a relative, a fellow parent, is asked to pick up your child, they must say a specific password.
- Think about the future. This is the first time your child will be spending significant time away from you. Your time together will only shrink—savor these precious moments.