My oldest daughter is an anxious child. When she’s nervous or worried, she says her tummy hurts.
Just this past Sunday morning, she was so worried about something that she couldn’t finish one waffle for breakfast. Usually, this kid can polish off a whole stack of ’em.
On mornings she’s feeling especially anxious, I can’t get her to eat any breakfast.
So last fall when she was gearing up to start kindergarten, I knew she’d need more to help with first day of school jitters than just an extra big goodbye hug at the classroom door.
Bonus: As a bonus for joining my weekly newsletter, get a free printable first day of school note that will ease your child’s worries and make them feel loved.
The Solution? This Sweet First Day of School Note
I came across the idea of giving your child a first day of school note from mom or dad, so I decided to give it a try.
Here’s what you do:
- Find two matching bracelets or necklaces, one for you and one for your child:
- Print a special first day of school note (grab the free printable poem below!) and attach one of the bracelets or necklaces to the poem.
- Wrap up the poem and bracelet, and present the gift to your child before the first day of school.
- After your child opens the gift and reads the note, explain how it works: On the first day of school, you’ll both wear your bracelets or necklaces. At school when your child is feeling nervous or scared, they can touch their bracelet or necklace and think of you, knowing that you’re wearing the twin and doing the same.
After my daughter opened her special gift and I read the first day of school note aloud to her, she grinned big.
But would it actually help her on the first day of school?
On the first day, after we found her classroom, I could see the worries etched on her little face.
I gave her a hug and a kiss, then I pulled her bracelet out and wrapped it around her wrist.
Her face lit up.
Now she had something tangible to calm her nerves. A talisman to remind her that I was thinking of her.
And as she walked into the classroom, I could swear she stood a little taller.
Here’s What I Didn’t Expect
My daughter wore her bracelet every day for the first couple weeks of kindergarten, and I followed her lead, wearing my matching bracelet every day she wore hers. And before school most days that first week while she ate breakfast, she asked me to read the first day of school note aloud to her again.
Then after a couple weeks, she felt more comfortable with her new routine, and she didn’t need her bracelet every day.
But here’s what really surprised me, almost a year later as she’s now getting ready to start first grade.
Last week, she came down the stairs from her room into the living room.
“Mommy? Remember those bracelets?”
I looked up from folding laundry. Bracelets? Oh, right.
“Yep, I remember.”
She held up that tattered old back to school note from a year ago to show me. “Can we do that again?” Her voice was small, tentative. Her chin sunk toward her chest.
“You mean like for first grade?”
“Yes.” Even smaller.
“Oh, honey. Of course we can.”
Her head popped up, and she flashed me a smile. Then she ran back upstairs to her room to play.
Get Your Free Printable: First Day of School Note
- Get your first day of school note from mom or dad. You’ll get the printable, plus join my weekly newsletter! Just click here to get it and subscribe.
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Wrap the first day of school note and bracelets or necklaces, and you’re DONE.
If your child struggles with anxious feelings, head over to 8 Surefire Ways to Calm an Anxious Kid for more ideas on how to help your child.
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
Have you tried giving your child a first day of school note to help calm their nerves? Share in a comment below!