When two of my four children started a new school this year, all my anxiety about a change in environments flooded my mind – Would they make friends? Would they have anyone to eat lunch with? Would they like their teachers?
The anxiety only increased when I asked my youngest son’s old teacher for advice and she told me to reach out to some moms before the school year and schedule play dates. I did what she told me to. I cold emailed a couple moms who I had never met. They didn’t respond. So no play dates before school. And those moms probably think I’m a total weirdo.
I hoped the back to school parties for each grade would help establish a couple connections. Wrong! The parties – a bowling and pool – were so chaotic that none of the kids really talked to each other.
Back to school night was a similar story.
The night before school – all of our anxieties were riding high. I made cinnamon rolls – one of kids’ favorites – for the first day breakfast. We took our first day photos and we, my husband and I, dropped them off.
I hoped for the best.
It went okay. Both of my sons made some connections – potential friends – the first day who eventually turned into real friends. The school has a kind of funky sweet vibe and truthfully that helped a lot.
After school we went out for ice cream, I think that helped too.
So here are some bullet points of advice:
Don’t stress about making connections before school starts. If the stars align and you’re able to great but know that it’s not necessary.
- Do lots of legwork before school and make sure the place is one you feel comfortable with. I never felt comfortable with the school my oldest son went to before the one we’re at now and I can see why – it wasn’t the right fit.
- Do a before school and after school ritual that makes the day special and sets a positive tone.