This is a big day, really a “huge” day for everyone in the family when your baby goes to school for the first time. It is emotional, scary, joyful, exciting, crazy and many more emotions. Let’s look at several ways your child’s experience can be a successful and happy one.

It has been many years since I have been in this situation with my own children, but I’m getting to relive it as a Grandfather. In fact, I recently watched my daughters 5 and 3-year-olds, and 9 months old. Here are some of my suggestions having revisited these experiences.

The Softer Side

Prepare Them

One of the most important things is to prepare your child and try and reduce the sense of fear and butterflies.  One of the first things to do from a parents’ perspective is researching the school and teacher. This can be done through past reviews on the teacher, parents that have had their child in your child’s teachers class. This way you can anticipate how your child will react and plan on what is the most successful way to maximize your child’s experience.

Set it up as a positive experience. Help them understand your values at home are the same in the classroom. They need to be courteous to other classmates as they would be to other siblings and respect the teachers as they would respect mom and dad.

Go thru the routine prior to the first day. What door do they enter? Where do they put their lunch box and backpack? When is reading time? When is lunch? When is recess? etc.

Make it an Event

When mom and dad get the supplies list from school make it an outing. Take your child with you to do the shopping for the school supplies. Make sure they know this is for school and not for home and random projects. This gives them a sense of being a part of the journey. As soon as they open their backpack in the class they will know they had a part in it and feel comfortable.

Your journey to and from school my advice is that this is critical. If you can take advantage of this as a parent. Whether you drive, walk or even ride a bike talk to your child about the new day ahead and ask them questions about how their day was coming home. This is a building process. Be part of it. The time goes by so fast. You cannot get this valuable time back.

Take Time

While you are dropping off and picking up don’t be in a rush. Take time to talk with the teacher. Ask what you can do on your end to help at home.

When you get home go going thru your child’s backpack. This way your child can explain how their day was and talk about what they did in school that day and maybe even new friends they have met or how the teacher was or even what was their favorite part of the day.

Be Consistent

Have a routine that your child becomes accustomed to. Give them a sense of responsibility for helping with packing their lunch and backpack the night before. Have clothes set out the night before after a bath. Read to them before they go to bed.

These are all suggestions on how to make your child’s first days at school a positive experience and how to maximize their days and learning potential.

Risk Management

As you kids progress thru school grades there are some different things to consider. Let’s discuss a few of the things we never think about until something happens. We want to make sure you are properly insured for these unseen.

What responsibility do you have if your child accidentally injures another student on the school playground?

What responsibility do you have if a child is injured while playing at your home?

What responsibility do you have if a child is injured while you are transporting them on a field trip?

What responsibility do you have if a child becomes ill after having a snack at our home?

My suggestion is to make sure you have at least $300k in Personal Liability insurance on your homeowner’s insurance policy. I would also suggest you carry a minimum of $250k/$500k Bodily Injury Liability and Uninsured Motorists on your automobile insurance. Ask your agent about an Umbrella policy.

In most cases, if you are properly insured with these minimum suggestions you can keep an unfortunate accident from being a huge financial burden for you and your family.


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