The new school term is starting soon. Going to school for the first time for any child can be stressful and scary. Many a time, parents feel the same way too! But we need to put up a strong front and help our little one get over any anxieties they may have about starting school for the first time. Bearing in mind that each child is different, you may need to adjust what works best for your child. Every child\u2019s development is also different, so their school readiness may also defer. But fret not if your child doesn\u2019t seem to have met the school readiness checklist. Children learn quickly, and may pick up things even faster when placed amongst peers. If you are experiencing separation anxiety as some of us mummies do, know that you too, will get through this. What\u2019s more important is to help our child settle properly in school and begin a smooth and happy journey in school. Easing Your Child\u2019s Anxieties About School Before your child is off to school for the first time, you can do a lot to help set up some happy thoughts and expectations of school life.\u00a0 Image credit: Pexels 1. Talk often about it before it\u2019s time to start school \u00a0Paint a happy and exciting time for your child, about the fun of meeting new people and making friends. Speak kindly of teachers (even though you don\u2019t know who they will be now).\u00a0 These talks should take on a positive and cheerful spin about school. Whilst we may also want to tell our child what to watch out for and what to do and not to do, be mindful not to paint a scary picture.\u00a0 The key is not to infuse them with more fear of what could go wrong or the trouble they could land themselves in. 2. Assure your child that school is a safe place Fear of the unknown is the greatest kind of fear that festers in a child who has never been to school. Let your child know that school is not a place to be feared. Encourage them to view the teacher as a friendly guardian instead of a fierce teacher who dishes out punishment on children who misbehave. 3. Include your child in shopping for school necessities Instead of having everything bought and prepared for their school needs, include them in shopping for these items. It could be fun for them, choosing their own stationeries or a water bottle or food container. Little things like this could incite some excitement about going to school instead of harbouring fear and dread. 4. Encourage your child to make friends Image credit: Pexels One of the most important aspects of school is for children to learn how to socialise and make friends. If your child is on the shy side, he or she may find it daunting. We can\u2019t push them hard when they are feeling ill at ease. Be more encouraging on this if he or she struggles to make friends. Help them make friends if you can. 5. Talk about your school days I hope you still remember plenty of your school days\u2019 happy memories. Because, it helps to tell your happy memories about your school days. Share memories of the teachers you had, the friends you made, the funny things that happened in school, etc.\u00a0 Share lots of your stories with your child. It helps them to know what school was like for you, and that you turned out alright. So, school can\u2019t be that scary or bad after all. 6. Ask about the school day Once your child has started school, do talk to him or her about the school day often. Ask about what they like and dislike, things that happened in school, enquire about new friends, etc. One way to talk about a child\u2019s school day is to ask open ended questions. Don\u2019t ask a question that can be answered with a yes or no; for example, \u201cDid you enjoy yourself at school today?\u201d Instead, try asking, \u201cWhat\u2019s the most exciting thing that happened in school today?\u201d I used to ask my pre-schooler back then this question the moment I picked him up, \u201cOn a scale of one to ten, what\u2019s your score on your happiness level in school today and why?\u201d 7. Let them take it easy Image credit: Pexels There\u2019s no need to get right down to the academic excellence once the child begins school. So don\u2019t push them over the edge by focusing only on their homework and what they have learned for the day. The anxieties of being in a room full of strangers without parents around is hard enough for young children to cope. Some children may take longer than others to adjust to their new social environment and their new world in school. Be patient and encouraging. Hug them a little tighter if they\u2019re having a hard time, show them kindness instead of engaging in power struggles. Letting Go No matter how long each child may struggle with not liking school initially, know that it will end. Some longer than others, for sure, but it is a phase of life that the child will come to accept after some time and it ceases to be hard. As mummies, we just have to stand by them in the initial weeks and months. For mummies who have separation anxieties; maybe it\u2019s the first time your child will be away from you, but you too, have got this. It\u2019s normal to worry while your child is in someone else\u2019s care for the first time. But we do need to let go and start a new routine as our child goes through the growing stage. Here are more tips to prepare your child for school from Mamahood. We wish you and your child a very pleasant journey into the world of school!