The time is coming for change, and the big change isn’t with you or your job, but your baby. That tiny little baby is now old enough to go to school, and for you, it’s terrifying! As parents, we do everything that we can to ensure that our children are happy, healthy and well taken care of and part of growing up – for a lot of families – is in heading off to school. Your little one may be the most excited that they’ve ever been, but you? You’re likely to shed a tear or two!
Children must grow up and go to school, so whilst you are preparing yours to be okay with leaving you, you have to prepare yourself to be okay with them leaving. It’s inconceivable to you before this moment that your child will ever leave you. You’ll worry that they won’t be okay, or they won’t make friends. You’ll be hunting for kids packed lunch inspiration to make up something delicious so that they eat well. You’ll show them how to put their coat and shoes on so that they can do it all themselves. It’s a big learning curve for them, and for you, you need to be okay with letting go.
To be able to prepare yourself for your child starting nursery or school, you need to consider the pros and cons of sending them in the first place. You should be able to tour the school they’ll be going to, and meet their teacher in advance so that you can know who will be in charge of your child and their wellbeing during the day. It can help to know where their coat and lunch will go, where the toilets are and what the structure of the day would be like. The more you know, the more you can visualise what your child’s day will be like. This can help to curb the anxiety that you feel, as you can be sure that they will feel happy and secure in their setting.
If you have concerns, your child’s new school should be happy to call you and let you know how your little one is getting on through the day. Most children go to school without an issue and are happy to skip into the room and get ready to play. Some are more reluctant to let go of you – which will tug on your heartstrings and make you want to whisk your child home again. The thing is, this step is a necessary one if you want your child to attend mainstream school. No one has said that this would be easy, but you can make it as easy as possible on yourself. When the big day comes and their first session is ahead, you should do your best to wait until you’ve dropped off your child before you get upset or start to cry. If your little one sees you upset, they’re more likely to get upset, too. You can do this, Mum, we know you can!