#1. Meet the teacher and the classroom. Most children don't want to walk in on the first day of school and be left alone with some stranger! Ask the school if it's OK to bring your child in before school starts to meet the teacher and take a tour of the classroom. Point out cool things that he or she will get to experience on the first day like the "cubbies" where they store their lunches and backpacks. Show the way to the bathrooms, office, school nurse and secretary so he's familiar with his surroundings and won't feel so scared on his very first day.
#2. Make clothes kid friendly. Zippers and shoestrings can be a pain in the butt for tiny hands and some children don't know how to fully operate these functions easily enough when nature calls. Make sure your child in competent enough to handle these on their own. This improves their self esteem and allows them to quickly undress in dire situations. If zippers and shoelaces won't cut it, purchase clothes with Velcro straps and closures or snap buttons to make bathroom trips a breeze.
#3. Drive the school bus route (or walk it if you are in close range). Point out familiar houses, parks, or landmarks that let your child know he is on the right route. Explain where the crossing guards will be stationed and where they can stop if they need to. If you are driving your child to school, remind her where you will be picking her up or dropping her off, this will prevent the feeling of being "lost".
#4. CELEBRATE! The start of the school year is a time for new beginnings. Your child will be learning and growing right before your very eyes and pretty soon will be teaching you things you never knew. Turn dinner, the night before school starts, into a party. Set out special dishes you only use on special occasions and make the night about your child. Don't be afraid to go crazy here: get party hats, balloons, streamers... go the whole nine yards, and make your child really excited about his first day.
Click here to check out more ideas to help your youngest start the school year confident and stress free: CURES FOR THE FIRST DAY JITTERS