First day nerves

How to get your pride and joy through their first day at school with as few tears as possible


For a lot of kids, the most stressful time of their school year comes before term even starts. Here’s how to help your kids deal with those woes.

Will I make friends?
‘Gaining the confidence to walk up to someone and say, ‘hello’, is a learned process, and it requires positive reinforcement from a child’s own experience,’ says clinical psychologist Dr Raymond Hamden.

Parks, nursery schools and play groups are great places for kids to learn how to meet people; once they’re able to approach someone, the rest usually comes naturally.

What if someone bullies me?
‘Tell someone,’ says former Dubai American Academy principal Jason McBride. ‘If kids know bullying is not going to be tolerated, they might still be afraid, but at least they’ll know that the school will stop it.’

You can also help your children build the sort of confidence that naturally repels bullies by giving them opportunities to excel. Kids who feel they’re accepted and good at something are less likely to become victims.

What should I wear?
‘Students can use some unique style elements that are subtle enough to blend nicely with the school uniform and look both appropriate and different,’ says image consultant Rana Saab. Start by creating a look book with pictures of appropriate but stylish looks, which are within school guidelines.

Will my teacher like me?
Encourage your kids to make a good impression, and to treat their teacher with the same kindness and respect they’d like to receive. If your child expresses concerns that their teacher doesn’t like them, make an appointment to talk to the teacher in person.

They may not be aware there’s a problem and will most likely work with you to come to a resolution.

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