A ‘secret’ school readiness tip that no one’s probably given you

Kids First Director, Sonja Walker has been a teacher for 28 years. Here, she shares a ‘secret’ school readiness tip that will help your child make a more confident start to school.

School readiness tip to make the first day of school easier from the teachers at Kids First Children's Services in Sydney's northern beaches

If your child is heading off to school soon, you’ve probably been preparing for months.

You’ve bought everything on the list provided by your child’s school and Santa delivered pencils and pencil cases that have become your child’s prize possessions.

You’ve researched the best lunchboxes, and worked out the best school shoes to buy.

But you’re still worried that perhaps you’ve missed something…

You probably haven’t, but may I suggest a really practical school readiness tip that no one else might have mentioned?

And that is….

Public toilets.

Public toilets? Really?

Public toilets, you say? What on earth have public toilets got to do with school readiness?

Well, public toilets are often very similar to the school toilets that will soon become a part of your child’s life.

And let me tell you, knowing how to use school toilets will be important, especially in those first weeks of school when everything is new and unfamiliar.

Essential school survival skills

As adults, we often take bathroom and toilet routines for granted, but at the start of every school year, teachers meet many children who worry about having an ‘accident’ or simply ‘hang on’ until the end of the day because they don’t know how to manage bathrooms at ‘big school.

You will not want your child to be one of these kids.

Trust me.

‘Cubicle confidence’

At school, your child will need to be able to use cubicles with confidence.

That includes being able to go into the cubicle on their own as well as lock and unlock the door.

Your child will need to understand the etiquette of not peering under the dividers between stalls!

Your child will need to be able to confidently pull underwear down and pull it back up again.

And if your child is a boy, he’ll need to know how to use a urinal.

Hygiene routines like flushing and washing hands are, of course, super important too.

Can you see where I’m going here?

Public toilets provide practice

So, in the weeks and months before your child heads off to school, remember this tip that’s lovingly given from a ‘mature’ teacher who’s met her fair of share school starters.

The confidence your child will gain from practicing self-help skills like toileting will be a major advantage when ‘big school’ begins.

So, seek out the clean and safe public loos in your area and get your child used to bathrooms that are not the same as the one you have at home.

It’s a tip no one has probably given you, but when school begins, you’ll be glad I did!

© 2017 Kids First Children’s Services

Want to help your child make a confident start to primary school?

Kids First’s popular Ready Set School program offers comprehensive school readiness support to children aged 4-5 and also includes a complimentary screening with our speech pathologists and occupational therapists.

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