first day tears

first day tears
Q: My son is starting “Big School” at the end of the month. I am worried that he will cry when I leave him at school on the first day. Should I stay with him until he gets settled? What should I do?

A: Going to “Big School” is a big deal! It is a major step in the journey of growing up. It is exciting, but it can also be scary.

He may cry.

You may cry too.

I assure you, you would not be the only pair with tears on the first day of school.

In an effort to make your son’s transition smoother, I strongly suggest that you make the morning drop off short and sweet. Walk him to his class, if that is in alignment with the school’s policy, but DO NOT LINGER. His teacher should be prepared to handle all sorts of first day scenarios, tears included. Let her. Say good-bye to your son at the classroom door, let him know you’ll be waiting for him after his great day, and then leave. (Really leave. Do not hang out in the parking lot, where you may be viewed from a class window.)

Parents who hover about while children are getting settled, taking photos/videos or just watching, are a disservice to the whole class. An unsettled child may be further upset if some parents are present, while his are not. Or a child chomping at the bit to explore being independent is stifled by a parent taking yet another first day photo. And then there is the teacher: She is trying to make connections with a whole class and loitering parents only make it more difficult.

Make your good bye short and sweet. Tears on the first day are not abnormal. Starting school is a big deal- for your son and you!

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