My eldest starts school in September and I’m terrified. Not of the crying (mine) that will inevitably happen, not of the nerves (hers so far but I’ll definitely add to it), or the logistics (I probably should be) but I’m terrified I’ll mess it up. She’s about to go through a huge change and I know it’s our job as her parents to help her through it but what if we get it wrong? What if we give her the wrong advice?
I’m managing to get through the practical stuff of uniform buying and form filling with ease and minimal tears, but I know there’s going to be a whole heap more to come when she’s actually there. I can deal with the admin things, but the emotions and resilience is another thing. I coach people for a living so I’m normally the one going head long into these challenges with a plan and calm words, but when it’s my own kid…man it’s tough.
I wasn’t bullied as a child but I definitely had times of being on the periphery of friendship groups and not really knowing where I fitted. There were the inevitable fallouts in the playground and one very awkward week when I was about 9, had just moved schools and one of the other pupils took a mild infatuation to me and I had no idea what it was all about!! Confusing times. I don’t remember what role my parents took (sorry Mum and Dad, it was a long time ago) when it came to sorting school related conundrums out, but I know I will have asked them (and in the case of the over familiar ‘friend’ I do very clearly remember my Dad wading in!). So there’s going to come a day where I (well, we) am asked a question or told a story that requires me to be the balanced protector and I’m not sure how that’s going to go. Just typing this is giving a major lump in my throat, so it’s obviously something I need to face into!
I’m excited for her to start school for so many reasons, I’m not 100% emotional wreck about it and I think the apprehension comes from knowing that the emotional support she will need and deserve will largely come from us. The day she comes out crying because someone doesn’t want to be her friend will be the day I probably crumble and decide to home school her all the while holding her telling her I’m her best friend….
She’s a summer babe in name but not stereotyped nature – the phrase ‘she’s definitely ready for school’ is one we’ve banded around both in truth and comfort for a few months now. The settling in sessions have been good but the side of her character that’s a little more reserved and cautious has come out, which I’m glad about because lots of people would say her reputation is to be out going and confident all of the time but I’ve known differently.
I know what I need to focus on – not worrying about something that hasn’t happened, letting emotions out rather than thinking I need to be ‘practical’ all the time, listening rather than anticipating and letting her know when the time does come there’s nothing that we can’t talk about. It won’t be easy as I generally have to work at not being a worrier, but I will do it.
Lots of people seem to have children starting school in September, or maybe I’m noticing more this year because I’m in the thick of it. Whatever the reason there are thousands of impressionable little minds about to take the step into the school system who have no idea what awaits them (gaaaahhhhhh). It’s a long old road for the kids and parents alike but we’ll get there and we can figure out the changes that come with it. Sending big hugs and resilience to anybody else working through this next parenting chapter!