We’ve all been there: You’ve signed up to a new class. You’ve been dying to give it a go for ages. Maybe you’ve been watching YouTube videos of your new activity at home, giving it welly in your bedroom. You get to the door on your first day, and… suddenly, you can’t go in. Your knees are locked, your stomach is doing flips, and you feel all shy.
Whether you’re 4 or 94, first-day nerves are completely natural – especially in the current environment. Young children in 2021 have spent a huge portion of their lives at home, often with only their immediate family, so we understand that starting a new activity might be an intimidating experience.
At Song and Dance, we take every step we can to make sure every Song and Dance kid has a brilliant experience every time they walk through our gates. We’ve got 25 years of experience in helping new students settle in, and we’ve got several early childhood educators on our team who take great care of even the most nervous new recruits.
But, first impressions count, and if you want to help your child start off on the best foot, it really helps if you do as much groundwork as you can to help the first day go smoothly. Here’s our top tips on ensuring a great first day!
You set the tone – It may not seem like it sometimes, but your child is your biggest fan, and they hang on every word you say! If you’re worried about how they’re going to settle in, they’ll be worried. So be confident and excited about how brilliant it’s going to be!
Be prepared – It can really help some children to familiarise themselves with a new environment before they start. You could walk past our studios in advance and have a look in (or arrange a short visit with us in advance). You can also check out our Facebook or Instagram with your child to see pictures and videos of our studios and team.
Start with a pal or sibling – if you know your child is nervous to branch out on their own, why not get one of their friends or siblings to start with them? This method never fails!
Let us know if your child finds it hard to settle – we’re always happy to have any information which will help us help your child. Give us a call in advance or let us know at drop-off.
It’s not a competition – talk to your child about being patient with themselves. It takes everyone a while to pick up new skills. All we’ll ever ask of anyone is to try their best, and we understand that for some children, their ‘best’ is just walking through the door in the first place!
Give yourself enough time to get there for the first few classes – being in a rush to get here causes unnecessary stress for everyone, and your child could feel panicked before they even get to the gate.
And if it doesn’t go so well? Be patient, and keep trying. Often, it takes children several classes or even a full term to settle into a new environment. The important thing is to give them a chance to do so at their own pace, and not to take the decision out of their hands after one class. Some of our biggest success stories hid under tables on their first day!