by Cheryl Jackson Tuesday September 8, 2009

Today has been like groundhog day around here. It's the first day of school, and the same conversation has been repeated over and over and over. It goes something like this: 

"So, how'd it go this morning?" 
"Well...Johnnie doesn't like his new teacher," or "Great, he marched right off," or "He's not with his friends, I hope that's okay," or "He's in a split. Not sure what I think about that."

My Facebook page reads the same way. The morning began with parents, including myself, marveling and worrying about kids who are now in grade one, two, starting at a new school, or entering high school. It doesn't seem to matter what the situation is - the first day is always traumatic. Now that lunch hour is over and parents have heard from their kids, my Facebook is filled with relief.

Parents are probably more anxious than their kids about the first day of school. We know it's a big day, whether the kids are starting full day school, or high school.  And we know that we will have to face them later with soothing words, excitement, plans, advice. It can be a very emotional, and difficult day.

I'm not sure there's any surefire way to make the first day perfect. TVOParents has a few tips for you. In my house, we try to keep it positive. We talk about how great it will be, the opportunities that will arise to meet new friends, new teachers. We make sure everyone knows where to be, when. And I try never to talk about clothes or hair or any of that other stuff that can stop a teenager in her tracks.

It seems to have worked. Both my high schoolers had a great first day and say they can't wait for tomorrow. I'm relieved, and while I know there will be less-than-perfect days ahead, this was a good start.