What to do when the excitement of school wears off…

‘Mummy, I think I’m ready to go back to Chrissie’s now.’ My little boy Harry announced around the beginning of October. Chrissie was our very much-loved childminder, as a parent, of course I was a little worried about my son’s announcement – had something happened in school that had made him upset? My mind was a blur of questions and the dreaded ‘mum guilt.’ as an Early Years Reception Teacher, I know that this happens all too often and is something experienced by many, many parents and children.

It’s important to remember that Children don’t have the same realisations and emotional intelligence that we as adults do. It hits many quite hard around October time. The dawning realisation that ‘Starting School,’ means being there every day now and not in that comfortable nursery or childminder setting that they’d grown to love.

There is plenty you can do to help your little one through this tough time. If your child is struggling going into school, make sure to plan something exciting just for you two, Simple activities chosen by your child can help give them a focus that will help them through the day.

There is plenty you can do to help your little one through this tough time. If your child is struggling going into school, make sure to plan something exciting just for you two, Simple activities chosen by your child can help give them a focus that will help them through the day.

You could also try drawing a little heart in the centre of their palm – and one on yours. As you walk to school holding hands, charge up your ‘cuddle buttons.’ When your little one is feeling like they need a cuddle they can press their button and get a little cuddle from you. They’ll know you’re thinking of them. Likewise, when you’re thinking of them they know you can press your button and get a little cuddle from them. It’s a great visual reminder for children that you are with them always.

Try to keep in touch and plan play dates with old friends from their previous setting. Letting your child know there’s still a way of keeping in touch with old friends and that they will still see them will really help them as they transition into school life.

Visit the previous setting after school one day with your child in their new uniform if possible. Seeing that their old friends aren’t there now either will also help them to understand it’s all the older children that have moved on, not just them.

Ultimately, this phase will pass. The first term in school for children is unbelievably busy, with lots of new rules to learn, new friendships to make, there are bound to be some wobbles and times that are overwhelming.

Carolyn Whitehead is a mum of three children and founder of Beautiful New Beginnings – Liverpool’s Independent Antenatal and Practical Parenting Courses. With over 11 years teaching experience and special educational needs experience she runs a range of classes and courses which aim to support parents from pregnancy right through to school age. For further information visit www.beautifulnewbeginnings.co.uk or find us on Facebook @Beautiful.new.beginning or Instagram @beautiful_new_beginning

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