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Saturday, 31 August 2019

To The Mum At The School Gates For The Very First Time

The summer holidays are almost over and for many of us this weekend will be spent in a frantic rush of last minute labelling, stationary buying and ironing of uniform.

But I also know for some parents this will be the very first time you stand at the school gates and wave goodbye to your baby. Next week they will pull on their uniform for the very first time and it will feel like they instantly grew up in a matter of seconds.


So here are some top tips for any parent who will be standing at the school gates for the very first time this September.



- Try not to linger at the gates or the window once your child has gone into class. Seeing you still outside can make the transition even harder for a child to go in, believe me I have been there when I stayed to wave at the window and my daughter came running back out for "one last hug" and then refused to go back in!

Its so hard as you want to watch them go in, make sure they are ok and settled fine but honestly the teachers and TA's are there to help. They will ensure your child is happy, knows where to put their coat and finds a seat so you don't need to worry once they are in.


- Smile! Even if inside you are an emotional wreck (like I was!) try to stay positive, happy and calm for your child as they really do pick up on our emotions. If your child see's you looking sad or feeling apprehensive it may make them feel the same. You can always have a good old cry in the car or on the way home, believe me you won't be alone in feeling this way.


- On your way to school talk to them about all the fun they will have and this can be a good time to recap on teachers names etc so they become familiar before they are even in the door.

I also find telling my daughter that I will be waiting to collect her at the end of the day with a snack (kids always come out of school hungry, like they haven't eaten for a week!). Reiterating that I would be here at the end of the day (and with a snack too!) really helped her go in.


- Don't take it to heart when your child comes out of school unwillingly to talk or with a sudden amnesia of the whole school day. They are often so overwhelmed with everything that has gone on, especially in those first few days they genuinely can't remember what has gone on. I often get snippets of information days later!

Also rather than just asking "what did you do today?" try questions like "what made you laugh today" or "did you find any new toys to play with today" zoning in on something specific can help jog their memories and help them open up.


- Leave the house for that first morning school run with plenty of time to spare. The last thing you want to be doing is rushing to school and turning up after everyone else has gone into class as this can make your child really apprehensive about going in alone.

Set your alarm nice and early, it will give you time to get ready at your child's pace as well as giving them and you time to answer any questions your child might have about they day ahead (and believe me there will be questions!). If your child has friends who will be starting school with them perhaps arrange to meet them either for the walk to school or at the school gates. Seeing some familiar faces will really help your child feel safe and happy about the day ahead.


- If you and your child are both feeling a bit apprehensive about that first day (or week!) one thing that really worked with Evelyn was a "kissing heart" on her hand.

Basically I drew a small heart on the palm of her hand and did the same on mine. We placed the hearts together on each others hands and then gave them both a kiss. I told her that if she missed me at any point in the day she could give the heart a kiss and I would feel it and would send her back a kiss too. It really helped and even her teacher mentioned what a lovely idea it was.


But most importantly, cut yourself a little slack! Have that cry in the car on the way home, reminisce about how quickly your little one has grown because I can tell you know when they come bounding out school, full of stories to tell, experiences to relive and brand new friends those tears will soon turn to a big proud smile!

Good luck to everyone embarking on a brand new journey this September whether that's your child starting school for the first time, moving up a year group or moving to secondary school or even college. I am sure they will all smash it and in a few weeks time us parents will wonder what we were so worried about in the first place.

xXx

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