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How to survive your child's first day of school

 

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Thousands of kids in Townsville will be bubbling between excited and nervous with school officially returning on Wednesday.

It can be a challenging time for parents with kids starting their very first day of school, but there are some tricks to make the day less daunting.

Central Queensland University psychology expert Dr Cassy Dittman says it's important kids become familiar with who their teacher is and know a couple of their classmates names.

"There are some basic things that parents can be doing, even now with a couple of days left to help children feel confident that it's going to be okay at school," Dr Dittman says.

She suggests communicating with children about what to expect, such as going to the toilet during class and when they will have food breaks.

"All those sorts of routine and ritual things that children worry about."

'IF ONLY WE HAD A CRYSTAL BALL'

2020 threw up plenty of challenges as students were forced to learn from home last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Dittman says while last year was demanding, students, teachers, and staff are now better equipped to deal with similar events.

"If only we had a crystal ball.

"What we've learnt from last year is just how resilient most of us can be in the face of unpredictability ... I feel like as a group parents and teachers will be much better prepared for any of those disruptions that might occur along the way," she says.

Parents are also being reminded to look after themselves as sending children off to school can prove to be an anxious time.

"Schedule some time afterwards to have a coffee and a chat with a friend and debrief with your partner just to share your own excitement and nervousness for your child.

"I think taking the time just to look after yourself after that big moment is important."