August 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
Sammy is starting pre-school for the first time, which is a huge thing in our lives. He may not yet be 2 and a half but in our area children begin pre-school at the age of 2. He will only be going for a couple of morning sessions a week but it doesn’t help reduce the anxiety attached to letting my baby go.
I have of course been through this process before with Elliott and when Pink Lining asked us if I would write a post for you of our top 5 tips for going back to school I thought it was an excellent idea.
1. Talk to your child about how much fun they are going to have and all the exciting things that they are going to do It sounds obvious but sometimes we all get caught up with the rush to get them there in time and getting everything sorted but it is important that they are excited at the concept.
2. Avoid saying things to your child about how much you are going to miss them. I think we tell our children we are going to miss them as a way of explaining to them that you aren’t pleased you are leaving them and as an expression of love but his will make them feel anxious. Instead you could tell your child of a plan you have to do something exciting when you pick them up like taking them out for lunch/tea or to the park and you can tell them about this on their way to sustain the excited feelings whilst you are not there.
3. Consider putting your pre-schooler in uniform. I know this may be a bit odd but Elliott wore uniform all through pre-school even though he started off being the only one in his class that did. When I went to his new starter meeting I was told to put him in old clothes he was about to grow out of because they could get trashed whilst he was in school. I don’t think any of the children in his class ever arrived in old clothes and you would hear complaints at the school door about favourite clothes that had to go in the bin due to some irremovable stain. School uniform is designed to be tough and is so much cheaper than regular clothes that on the occasions Elliott would come home with stains that wouldn’t come out I never worried about how much money we had lost as I looked at him and realised everything he was wearing down to the plimsols on his feet had cost me all of about £5! The other advantage of your child wearing uniform is they will always look smart and they also know that when they put their uniform on they are off to school. If you have a special needs child this can really help them to understand when they are going off to school. Elliott may have been the first one to start wearing uniform but by the time he finished he was one of a number that followed suit.
4. Have special things only for pre-school. Every child likes to feel special and to add to their excitement about pre-school it’s nice for them to have big kid things that they only use for school – the bigger deal you make of it the more special it will become. It could be a pair of school shoes, a lunchbox or a school bag. Sammy has to take a bag with him to pre-school as he isn’t quite potty trained yet and we have spent time looking at the PL Child range picking out something he really likes. He has chosen a robot satchel (I was sure he would choose dinosaurs) and I love that he has chosen something that can not only fit but also display some of the million drawings he is bound to come home with. Sammys first day he will get to trot off to school with his new satchel on his bag and feel every bit the big boy going off to school.
5. Don’t be surprised if they don’t cry on their first day and then cry on their second week. Unless your child is hanging off of your leg and needing to be peeled away from you on their first day there is a good possibility that tears will not be shed. In fact as much as I was pleased Elliott ran into the classroom with only a passing glance at me leaving part of me was disappointed he wasn’t screaming for me. The second day I dropped him off and we were once again fine, I got quite cocky thinking how mature my 2.5 year old was and how he was so secure that I would return for him he didn’t worry. Then week 2 hit. All of a sudden we had tears, screaming, a key worker having to pull him off me and my leaving being accompanied by SCREAMS for mummy. I felt terrible! I was told that for most kids this is normal because week 2 is a little less exciting and they are a lot wiser to what is going to happen. Its normal, we all go through it and they are soon over it and running in to school without a care in the world, you just have to ride it out and know you are leaving them with people who deal with it year after year after year and if your child was overly stressed they would call you.
So that’s it, my top 5 tips! If you are going to be dropping your only or youngest child off this year than treat yourself to a cup of tea and a cake somewhere near by while they are at school, a bit of “me time”. If you still have a little one then buy them a cake too and enjoy having time with just them for a change. Make Pre-school a positive experience for the whole family because before you know it they will be at BIG school!!!