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What You Need to do Before You Send Your Girl Child Off to School for The First Time

How to soothe the first day of school jitters and more.

Updated:August 7, 2019, 2:09 PM IST
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What You Need to do Before You Send Your Girl Child Off to School for The First Time
How to soothe the first day of school jitters and more.

Going to school is a massive milestone in the lives of your little daughters. Whether they are only children or have siblings, this is their first taste of the real world and it can be intimidating. Both parents and daughters need a safe way to transition from the comfort of home to school and all the challenges and fun that come with it.

Have a chat - Children love structure and function better when they know what to expect. Having a conversation with your daughter about school and all the things that will happen in the day is a good start. Stay positive and upbeat about things and tell them what to do if they need help. Look up ways to talk to them about “safe touch / unsafe touch” in simple terms. Read books about going to school and point out things that are fun. Repeat all of this over and over again in the months before starting school.

Plan ahead - Any parent will tell you that planning ahead is half the battle won. This is especially true if your daughter is a picky eater or is not used to eating food cold. Drive past the school and show them where it is. Point out birds, trees or interesting waypoints that your girl can get familiar with while going to and from school.

Work out the schedule - Sleep and potty training is all taking form right now. While you should ideally start as early as possible, better late than never. Figure out how much time your child will need to get at least 10-12 hours of sleep, use the toilet and have a spot of breakfast before they go to school and work around it. If you have a large family, this might mean modifying everyone else’s schedules as well.

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Prepare for changes - Even if your daughter is excited about going to school, once the novelty wears off, mornings can become filled with the dreaded “I don’t want to go to school” cries. Separation anxiety can reduce the most sociable children to tears. Talk to your kids about their feelings and reassure them about drop off and pick up times.

But these are not the only changes. Going from a family of even 4-5 people to a classroom with 10 or more children brings its own particular challenges for a developing immune system. Early immunization is one of the most economical ways to prevent the pain and trauma that accompanies avoidable sickness, disability and in rare cases, death. India’s UIP provides free vaccines for 11 life-threatening diseases including Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia and Meningitis due to Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HiB), Measles, Rubella, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Rotavirus diarrhoea. Check with your paediatrician for a recommended list and get started early.

Have some fun - At this stage, school is less about grades and more about learning critical social experiences, developing motor skills and having fun. Let your daughter have some fun picking out new stationery, lunch box, water bottle or backpack, to make it more exciting.

When it comes to sending your baby girl to school, the things you need to factor in changes all the time. Teachers deal with tots daily and are an excellent repository of this kind of information. They are your most significant free resource. Strike up a conversation when you have the chance - they may have unique insights on your little angel. But above all, do your research, be open to suggestions and trust your instincts when it comes to helping your daughter take this important step.

This is a partnered post.

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