Every parent looks forward for the day when the child is dressed up in that cute school uniform, with tiny little shoes and a fancy snack basket in hand. Every parent is anxious whether the child adjusts with the school, whether he starts crying, whether he is punished by the teacher or bullied by other children. This anxiousness is completely normal. This very emotion in the parents protects the offspring. It is similar to the instinct in animals which protect their babies fiercely.
At the same time one need to remember that the child has a tremendous capacity to adapt. This is not the first time he is adjusting/ adapting. The school is his third environment. The child’s first environment was mother’s womb. It was such a safe and comfortable place, exact temperature, enough light, light music of heart beat and smooth massage of amniotic fluid. One day suddenly he is pushed out of it and comes out to the harsh adults’ hands and their environment. He cries as if he is not withstanding the cruelty of this world. Still he adapts himself to this second environment easily. Compared to this tremendous task, adjusting to the school is nothing. The child when he first comes to school he carries the impression of school created by the mother. Usually mothers create a very scary picture of school while feeding them or whenever they want to have control over them. Thus even before seeing the school the child has an image of the school as a vicious place.
It is both the parents’ and teachers duty to make the first-day of the school less scary for the children. It is a process which should start even before admitting the child. The child has to be prepared for the school even before admission. The mother has to talk about the school as a nice, beautiful place where he can play, make friends and enjoy. The child should be accompanied many times to the school before, during and after the admission procedure. The school has to provide opportunities for the child to go around the classroom, playthings and the playground. The teacher should be with the child during admission and interview. After admission the child has to be taken to the school for four or five times so that he becomes familiar with the school environment. On the first day he should not be dropped to school by a person whom he loves a lot.
In spite of all this the child may cry or take little more time to settle down. No need to worry. Like growing pain the child has to go through this phase and understand that going to school is non-negotiable. Even the bold children who walk confidently to the school on their own on the first day develop aversion after a week or two once they realize that he has to go to school every day.
So there is no short cut for helping the child to adjust to the school. It is fearsome for the children, and creates anxiousness among parents and teachers. The first-day school experience could be made less dreadful for the children by the cooperation between the teachers, parents and the school management.