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  • Parenting a Montessori Child
First Day of School

How to Make Your Child’s First Experience with School Positive

Like any major transition in life, the first day of school can have your child feeling uncertain about your expectations and the future. For parents experiencing drop-off for the first time, remember that your child looks to you for a sense of security and purpose.

When a child senses that you are comfortable, even excited, about a new beginning, he or she is much more likely to make a smooth, quick transition into a new classroom routine.

Talking about Transitions Helps

In the days leading up to the first drop-off, parents should talk about school using an enthusiastic and positive tone. Words matter, as do inflection and context. Your child will interpret subtle cues from you as to the attitude he or she should have toward school, in general. So, be sensitive to how you deliver information.

First Day Best Practices

On your child’s first full school day on his own, remember to make your goodbyes quick and as positive as possible. Perhaps the best thing you can do as a parent is to give your child a hug and a kiss and simply say, "I love you." You can also reassure that you will be coming back soon. Lingering nearby and extending the goodbye only prolong the process, which can make your child’s transition that much more difficult.

Young children crave order. By creating and adhering to a consistent drop-off routine, you will help your little one to feel a sense of security.

Every Child is Different

Every child has his or her own timeline for navigating new physical and psychological terrains. Keeping this in mind is about respecting where your child is at, at each stage of life. Although you may initially witness tears at separation, know with certainty that your child is attuned and grateful for the positive reassurance that you provided upon leaving him or her at school.

In truth, once in the classroom, your child may likely forget his or her unhappiness and, instead, be fully consumed by all the wonderful opportunities to explore and engage with a new world of experiences. It just takes some positive encouragement, patience, and consistency on your part, as you help guide your child on the path to the most positive transition possible.

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