Week 2: Separation Anxiety - How to survive the first day at school!

Last week we looked at how to cope with reluctant returning kids. This week we’re turning our attention to the littlest ones – those nervous first timers – and how you can get them (and yourself) through the first day of school.

For first-timers

  1. Let them play grownup

Let them choose their own pencil case and schoolbag. Choosing these items will enable them to express their own personality and feel more mature.

  1. Get them a companion toy

School Days Lottie is excited about starting school and her excitement is always contagious! Lottie doesn’t even have to come out of their bag to be a real comfort to a nervous child.


  1. Get labeling!

You’ll be glad you wrote their name on the inside of their jumper/shirt/coat/any clothing item, when your little one has thrown it off to pursue one of their many fun school activities.

  1. Practice makes perfect

On the weekend before the first day, take them on walk to the school. Explore the grounds, familiarise them with the gates etc. Removing the notion of school as a place ‘unknown’ will make them feel a little more comfortable on the day.

  1. Separation anxiety

You’ve done all of the above but when it comes to the crunch, what do you do when your little one starts to cry? Remain calm. Remind them of all the good experiences they’re going to get to have. If they still don’t calm down, it might be better for you to leave. The fear of a parent leaving rather than the act itself is most likely what is motivating the breakdown. Trust your child’s super resiliency, go meet a friend for coffee and bring the tissues.Good luck! 

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