As a parent, you’re a war torn veteran in the annual battle of the first day of school. Your plan of attack is set, from uniforms to cartoons and your weapons of hair comb and camera for the embarrassing first day shot are ready. We at 3P are also experienced in the battle for students’ education. We have seen many a first day of school and thought it best to provide tips to help you parents in your quest for your child’s wellbeing.

Plan ahead

The first day of school doesn’t start on the first day. Early awareness is the first step in avoiding the last minute realisation that cartoons will be allocated back to before and after school (this is before they realise cartoons will only be accessible after homework). Give your child constant awareness in the week prior to the first day. Purchase uniforms, text books, and while you’re at it, buy new lunch boxes within this period. Make sure your child is constantly aware of preparations taking place. Be sure to talk with your kids in this week, talk through their days so they begin establishing a mental plan of what’s to come. Your child will have the equipment and mental prep to fight the good fight.

Brain fuel

Your child has adjusted to the free time away from school and so has their sleeping and eating habits. Ease back into to school sleeping times in the last week of holidays and get the morning routine back into place early. Ingredients like berries, peanuts, fish and – if you have a fussy eater – grains are great brain foods to get your child in the mental space to learn, but you must feed them with a surprise attack. This can be done by providing forms of brain food like peanut butter and jam sandwiches, fruity fish oil candy and cereals containing oats. Another way this can be done is by adopting the one-step back and two-steps forward approach. Provide a lunch box of healthy varieties and leave one fun option like air popped popcorn or lunchables so your child has something fun to eat towards.

 Give them something to learn for

Your child’s thought process on the first day is ‘this is the day that fun died’. It is this perceived loss of joy and freedom that is the major instigator of the first day battle. As parents, you’ve got to give them hope that fun has in fact not died, he’s just sleeping from the times of 8 to 3. Have movie night Mondays, trivia Tuesdays, fun food Fridays and so on. As a parent you hold the number one tactical advantage in the battle of first day of school, you know your child back to front. Use your child’s interests to remind them that education can be enjoyable and rewarding.

Incorporating these steps into your plan of attack will turn your first day battle into just another first day of school.