Have you ever thought about how the start of the day affects your child’s day at school?
How we start our day really does set us up for how the rest of our day runs, which is why starting the day right is essential for your child before they head out to school.
We all know what it is like to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and how it makes us feel as we trudge through the rest of the day; we are tired, grumpy, tend to overreact and can find it hard to manage even the simplest of tasks. Lucky for us though, as adults, we can manage this by sneaking away from our desk for some quiet time, have a few more cups of coffee than usual and maybe even sneak out early knowing we have tomorrow to make up for it.
Our children though, they don’t have these same options. For them, a bad start to the day still means going to school and sitting through lessons, learning and working, with no escape, no quiet time, and certainly no extra coffee or sneaking out early (imagine that!). Instead, it usually means poor concentration, difficulty learning and even some extra tears throughout the day.
So how do you make sure your child is ready for a successful day at school?
- Start the day clam – there is nothing worse than the feeling of being late and having to rush yourself and others out the door. Doing this can cause your child to also feel rushed, meaning they arrive at school feeling like they aren’t quite ready to be there. Having a calm start to the day is much more positive for your child and allows them to ease into the school day ready to listen and learn. As best you can try to avoid being rushed and if you do find this is the case, because we are only human and all run late sometimes, try to remain calm so your child doesn’t pick up on the same feelings and take them into school with them.
- Being organised is key – it is not uncommon to watch students arrive at school with their bag over one shoulder, lunch box falling out, jumper lagging behind and searching for their home reader bag as they get out of the car. Being organised and involving your child in the process of getting ready for the day can help both you and them to know everything for the day is taken care of and everything is where it should be, plus, it is a great way to build independence and responsibility. Getting organised the night before is an easy way to avoid the morning panic of getting ready, as is using a checklist or picture cues to help your child with getting organised as well.
- Be happy – your mood first thing in the day will ultimately impact your mood for the rest of the day. This might not be as long lived in children as adults but it can be difficult to bounce into school if the start to the day is a bit off. Work with your children on how to boost their mood, and use these things each morning to get the day started. This could be singing and dancing to their favourite song, talking about what they have to look forward to and be excited about during the day, practising gratitude and sharing things to be grateful for (research shows you can not be in a state of gratitude and unhappy at the same time), or simply having a good laugh. Anything that works as a mood booster is a great habit to implement into the start of each day.
These 3 simple things really do help to assist with how your child starts their day. Starting the day right means your child will be ready to learn with a smile on their face ?
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