Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

'Maintain a flight attendant's face': Norland College's tips for parents as school starts

Starting school can be a nervous time for many children. Photo: ITV West Country

Norland College has revealed seven tips for people taking children to school for the first time - including maintaining 'a flight attendant's face'.

Many children across the south west are starting school this week and the college says this can be a stressful time for both pupils and parents.

The Bath institution famous for training nannies says people need to be prepared for their child starting school.

Norland's 'seven key tips for preparing you and your child for starting school' are:

  • Tip 1: Keep things familiar

You can leave something familiar in your child’s bag which reminds them of you.

This can help them to feel connected even when you are not there.

Familiar items can help children to feel more comfortable. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Tip 2: Work together with the teacher

Re-introduce your child to the teacher to show you trust them and they are a safe person to go to.

Raise any concerns or points you have with the teacher - maybe by writing them down.

Building a strong relationship with teachers helps children trust them. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Tip 3: Keep it calm

The college says parents should master the ‘flight attendant's face’.

This means keeping a calm expression at all times to avoid making your child panic or feel uneasy.

Try to be excited about school to show children they should enjoy it. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Tip 4: Empathise and value the emotions

Talk through your child's emotions to help them understand that what they are feeling is normal for a first day at school.

Explain that you sometimes feel nervous and how you overcome the feeling.

Consider the factors involved in your child's nerves.

Use activities and travel time to discuss children's emotions about school. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Tip 5: Rest and relax

Discuss what you may be doing when your child is at school.

This helps them understand that you are safe when they are in school.

List things you can do together after school, so the child has things to look forward to.

Avoid asking lots of questions as this can overwhelm children.

Your child may be incredibly tired at the end of their first few days, so plan for a relaxing evening.

Plan relaxing activities like reading and allow children to unwind. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Tip 6: Keeping it short and sweet

Say a proper goodbye to your child when you drop them off but avoid long and drawn out goodbyes.

Even if your child is upset it is important you hand them over to the teacher and trust them to keep them safe.

After the first day, carry out the same routine every day to build consistency.

Try not to prolong drop-off time or children may become distressed. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Tip 7: Caring for the carers

Dropping children at school can be a challenging experience for parents so keep your mind busy if you feel emotional.

Unwind with a hot drink or speak to friends after dropping children off. Credit: PA

Do you have any back-to-school stories? send them to westcountry@itv.com or tweet @itvwestcountry.