Tips for parents sending kids off to school

By: Chiara Lotierzo Email
By: Chiara Lotierzo Email

Sending your children off to school for the first time can be scary for your kids.

But it can also be emotionally tough on you as a parent.

11 News Reporter Chiara Lotierzo has more on how parents can emotionally prepare to send off first–time students.

"He's ready, but I don't know if I am,” says Jennifer Whitworth as she’s getting her son ready to head off to kindergarten.

That includes “everything from getting shots to meeting teachers, everything that goes with it,” she says.

Now with a first grader and a kindergartner, she's been preparing her boys to head off to school all summer.

But as a mother, she's not sure what to expect.

"I really don't know, I might be so happy that day, and excited, and I might be really sad, it's hard to tell, until you get there,” she says. "If it's your last child or if it's your first child, that's really traumatic on moms and dads."

Cathy Story with the Hilltop Child and Family Center knows from experience, as a childcare expert and a mother.

"Kids need to see you strong, and not crying in the classroom, so wait until you walk out the door, and then let the tears run,” she says.

But she says a big part of how well a child will adjust to school comes from how their parent handles it.

She recommends telling your children feel–good stories about your school memories, like a great teacher, or making friends.

"If they're positive, their child will be more positive,” Story says.

As for Jennifer, she says she'll have to figure out how to handle being happy and sad at the same time.

It’s a "strange feeling" she says.

But she knows sending her little boys off to school is all a part of their growing up.

And part of her growing as a mother, too.

Story says if you're having a really tough time letting your little ones go, try volunteering in their classroom.

it gives you a chance to see them growing and having fun, and might help you as a parent deal with having an empty home.

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