10 Etiquette Tips for Your Child's First Day of School

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    Teach Your Children Social Skills

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    Parents need to remember that good manners start at home, so if your child has a solid foundation in etiquette, you won’t have to worry. However, it’s not a bad idea to help your little ones out with a few reminders. You want them to have a good first day to help set the stage for the school year. This will boost confidence and show both your child and the teacher that you care.


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    Respect Time

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    Tell your children what time school starts and explain the importance of honoring that by arriving on time. Being late is disruptive to everyone in the class, and if it happens on the first day of school, the teacher may think this will be a continuing problem. However, it isn’t wise to show up too early because the teacher may not be prepared. Getting to the classroom five minutes early is generally fine, unless the school has a different policy.


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    Respect the Teacher

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    If your child hasn’t yet learned how to address adults in authority, explain that teachers should be called Miss, Mrs., Ms., or Mr. with their last names. You can reinforce this by addressing the teachers in the same way to prevent confusion for the children. Your child needs to understand that the use of the proper title shows respect.


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    First Impressions

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    Express how important it is to be clean and dressed appropriately for school. This includes bathing, washing hands after eating, and brushing teeth. Although it isn’t necessary to have a new outfit for the first day of school, it’s best if you avoid wearing dirty, wrinkled, or torn clothing.


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    Well-Stocked Backpack

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    Send your child to school with what is needed and requested by the school or teacher. Some of the local office supply and discount stores have the lists on hand. Make sure you include a lunch, money, or voucher for a school lunch. Follow the school rules about what is or is not allowed, including cell phones, medication, and other items.


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    Respect Other Children

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    Respecting their peers is essential in order to have a positive school experience. By the time most children start school, they generally know not to take something that doesn’t belong to them. Let them know that this includes homework, lunch, and snacks. They also need to know not to gossip about anyone, even if they know something is true.


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    Playground Manners

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    Playing nicely with others on the is essential to a positive school experience. Emphasize the importance of taking turns, sharing equipment, following playground safety rules, and invite others to play with them. While children need to run and jump to release all their excess energy, they need to understand that it isn’t okay to push, shove, or cut in line. If your child is outgoing, stress the importance of watching for other children who may be more reserved and reluctant to join the fun. This...MORE will not only benefit the other child, it will help build leadership skills in your little one.


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    Classroom Behavior

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    Your child needs to understand that the teacher is the authority figure in the classroom and needs to be respected. Explain that there will be school rules for how to act in the building and even more rules during class. Talk to the teacher and ask if rules will be posted or sent home for the parents to review with their children.


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    Good Sportsmanship

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    Good sportsmanship is essential for getting along in this world, so teach your children how to apply it to the classroom. When someone gets a better grade or wins a competition such as a spelling bee, it’s good form to say congratulations. When playing team games, remember that someone has to lose, and rarely will the same team always win.


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    Accepting Differences

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    Make sure your children understand that there will be a wide range of differences among the students in their classrooms. Some of the things they’ll encounter are others of different races, religions, types of families, and living situations. They may even have someone in the class with a disability.


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    Basic Good Manners

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    If you want your children to have good manners, make sure you set a good example. After they hear you saying, “Please,” “Thank you,” and “Excuse me,” they are likely to follow. Praise them for being mindful of their manners to encourage them to continue. If you see someone who needs help with a door or packages while you’re shopping for school supplies, let your children see you lending a hand.