Thursday, 6 August 2015

Starting School: 5 Mistakes Parents Make

I vividly remember my son's first days in Reception - not a happy time.  He cried every day for weeks, and so did I!  Much later we realised he was short-sighted and needed specs, which must have added to his sense of bewilderment. That was just one of my mistakes - here are a few more And how to avoid them!

*Don't expect your little one to tell you all about their day

Of course you're dying to hear!  But don't feel hurt if they don't answer your questions. Be patient: your child will be tired - and the information will trickle out in the end! 
But it's worth bearing in mind that this is a tough adjustment for any parent:  accepting that your child now has his own separate world.  
You could try this:  
Get involved by helping in the classroom or with school outings. It's a great way to get to know the other kids - and the teachers. 
But ultimately you have to accept your child's growing independence - it's a cause for celebration, after all!

* Don't beat yourself up

If you don't achieve huge amounts while they're at school.  At first the hours between dropping up and picking up feel like an eternity, but before you know it your child will be home for tea.

You could try this: 
Allow yourself a period of adjustment, to take stock of what you want to achieve. Make a realistic list of a things you'd like to do by the end of term. 

* Don't regret what you haven’t done

Many parents in my book felt they hadn’t spent enough time playing with their children - they'd been too busy to simply enjoy them.  This was just as common among full-time mums as working mothers.

You could try this:
Dig out old photos, which will remind you how much fun you had - as well as peeling potatoes and sorting socks.
And talk to your partner and friends about their memories.
Remember, you'll still have plenty of time together in the evenings and at weekends.

* Don't assume your partner isn't feeling sad too 

Even if his or her daily routine isn't affected as much as yours. 
You could try this: 
Talk to each other about how you feel about this big transition, which is likely to be a mix of pride, anxiety, hope  - as well as sadness - and don't assume he or she will dismiss your feelings as silly.  

Don't ignore your other children's feelings

A younger child will probably miss their sibling too, especially in the first few weeks. 
They may also be a bit  jealous of their sibling’s exciting new life at school - even the uniform! 

You could try this:
Make sure they have some new kit of their own: a special pencil case, a drawing book. You could choose it together. 
Emphasise the positives: having more time on your own together.
Plan some outings.  They'll  love having more of your attention!