It is my 4yr olds first day of school tomorrow and i have spent the whole day upset/stressed and now crying. In my whole parenting ‘‘career’ i have never felt more wrong about anything. I just can’t get my head round the idea that i am sending her to spend three and a half hrs with total strangers to her and to me. I know she will spend the majority of the morning feeling alone and lonely and it’s reall breaking my heart. dh went with her today and spent the morning but tomorrow will be her first time alone. I have made her some loveheart cookies for her snack box and she told me that she wouldn’t eat it as i had made it and so she would just want to hug it and hold onto it.
I don’t know where i am going to find the strength to walk away if she is crying. And we are getting the usual crap about ‘‘she’ll be fine’’ and ‘‘just let her get through it’’ and i know in a month she’ll be fine but at what cost, broken spirit, etc. i’m also so concerned about her being made to fit in and conforming. I do believe school is a good thing…...mostly, i just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
just need some suportive words. Hopefully i’ll be cried out by morning.
I used to send little notes in my daughters lunchbox.
My two love school now - we had some struggles at the start and almost pulled them out but glad we stuck with it. Not all schools make them conform. Our new school is fab, a really small friendly atmosphere. They like to think its just a big family!
DS is very cuddly still and used to regularly report that he had been cuddling his teachers in reception when I picked him up. The teachers seemed quite happy with this and would say they missed his cuddles if he was off anytime.
Its hard though - and they pick up on your anxieties. DS was a lot easier actually going to school as he just wanted to be with his big sister and I was used to the school by then as well. He just used to get very tired by the end of the day once on full days.
It is the fact that it is “school” that is worrying you? Would you be happier if it was a “play group”? The first few years of school are not that much different really - most of it is play based and they got the chance to do far more messy stuff at school than I have the patience for!
It is hard for mummies, I still hear you .... and she may just love it. What you are doing is giving her an opportunity to find something new, just for her, spreading her wings, your baby, but she will fly back to you. Trust in her, trust in you, trust in the strength that you have helped her build over the last few years to try new things ....
Will be thinking of you tomorrow, asking if you can ring to check how she is getting on is a good idea too .... xxx
I don’t have a lot of advice its difficult to let them go and so worrying. There are a couple of books I have though that deal with littles ones going to school and seperation anxiety not sure if you have heard of them but they are The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson. They were recommended to me by my childs teacher and are two lovely comforting stories about being seperated from Mummy.
Oh, I really feel for you, as I have been through this myself. My little girl started school at 4yrs, and although I knew the time was right for her to learn, as she was ready, neither of us were ready to separate, and it was very emotional. I walked into the school to hear her screaming, and was walking out with her, thinking, sod this!, when the headteacher grabbed us and took us aside. Once we had both calmed down, I promised, reluctantly to try again! That night, my daughter and I chatted about school, and what did it for us, was, that I told her that mummy HAD to send her to school, that it wasn’t my choice, and that both of us had to be brave! The next morning, she still woke unsure, but got ready and made it to school! I kept in touch with the school all day, they reassured me she was fine, but I wasn’t sure that I believed them! She came home with a big smile on her face, telling me how brave she had been! I cried!!! She hasn’t looked back since, she has settled in well and has lots of friends. The teachers tell me she even speaks up in chat time!!! Before school, she didnt get off my knee at mother and toddler even to play with the children she knew! Looking back, it has been the best thing I did! Be brave and stick with it, you won’t regret it, I know how hard it is, I’ll be thinking of you both, please let us know how it goes, sending love and hugs x P. S My daughter wouldnt do Playgroup either. I tried a few times, but I could only walk around all day holding her hand, she wouldnt let go for a second, so gave up on that!!! That made school start even harder!! But, she did it! x
You have given her the best opportunity to settle in, you spending time there with her. But now it is time for her to forge those relationships herself. Will she have a particular person she can go to for comfort? I think as soon as she has someone there she can trust enough with her feelings then things will settle down. I have had a week of taking my sobbing daughter to pre-school this week, absolutely heart-breaking (this is after her having a few really good weeks going in with a smile on her face and full of confidence), but even through her tears she went to her key worker and settled with minutes. Yesterday she took some books in to share (as well as one of her brothers favourite teddies) and was fine again!
It is so hard making that first move, which feels as if it goes against every grain of motherhood in your body, but children have such a way proving us wrong. Keeping you all in my thoughts today, let us know how she gets on.
Oh, one thing I found helped was talking about older siblings, or yourself in the same environment.
BIg hugs, we are here holding your hand. Your DD will be fine it will take time to settle, but it will soon become normal routine. Your DD is very lucky she has a supportive caring family who will be there for her whilst she settles and will make sure she continues to thrive. Schools are wonderful places full of opportunities, and friends for your daughter. Think on the positives, then your DD will too. She will be fine she has a wonderful mama behind her every step of the way xx
thanks for your thoughts and suggestions we did use a few and i really did try to be her rock even though I was a wreck last night, i did manage to brave up . This morning. She was fine, a little defiant but hardly anything. When we got to school we took her bag in then came out and stood in the playground whereupon all the little girls from her class came over and told her how beautiful she was and chatted with us until it was time for them to line up and go in. She was great at saying bye, ran over to her class but then as they filed into the class she spotted me waving at the gate. She immediately burst into tears and ran towards me with her teacher in hot pursuit. T won and reached me shortly followed by her teacher who picked her up and whisked her inside kicking and screaming. I burst into tears and went to the car where my husband was waiting. We waited 10 minutes then dh went to find out if she was ok without her seeing him. We were told she was ok so dragged ourselves home. we called halfway through the morning and were told she cried a lot in the playground (which i knew she would) but otherwise she was fine.Later we found out after the kicking and screaming she put herself in a corner and cried but then came out by herself and joined the others .
At pick up time she came running out with a huge smile on her face, with a book that the class had made for her (they had all drawn a picture for her) and it was bound together with ribbon. She also had a bunch of pictures that had been taken of her throughout the morning in dress up in the play kitchen, at snack time and in a group class photo with her in the middle and all the girls with their arms round her. She also had a little whistle as a present and one for her baby sister.
So all in all it was a lot better than expected and she talks about the morning. She did say that the teacher kept telling her to smile and that she had to smile when she came out of class to see me at pick up time ....don’t really like that but i guess it helped her a bit as she genuinely did look happy/ok.
Next week we start mon/wed/fri just mornings and a possible class trip to the zoo, then its sint nicolas here which is similar to santa (presents and biscuits and oranges) then christmas so i hope she’ll be so busy with the festivities she won’t have time to be upset…..
i’m so proud of her she was so brave much more than i was. i guess we’ll go through it all again monday.
Thanks again for all your kind words if i am her rock i’m so glad i have this forum and you ladies to be mine.
I’m pleased for you, it sounds like the school, teachers, pupils are great, she will settle now really quick, try not to think about it too much, and let it spoil your weekend, lots of love and hugs, x
Just a note to say ... I went through this in september. Heartbreaking though it is you will both settle into your new rhythm, really you will. I think it is often harder for the Mama than the littlun. And your time together will be even more precious if that is at all possible. I take extra care when packing Zander’s lunch, buy him his favourite healthy snacks for after school, I love hearing how he’s inspired the whole class in an activity and how he’s cared for other kids who got hurt or something. I love helping him to read and come up with more interesting ways to help in this. You learn a lot about your little person when they have an environment that you don’t generally enter. You learn from what they say, what others say, little things like Zander points out symetry in nature and repating patterns everywhere - I never knew he retained information so keenly or so well.
I guess I still would rather he was being holistically educated somewhere but we cannot afford it and HE wasn’t going to be an option in the end for various reasons. As a mama I monitor him closely and where I have concerns I have no fear in sitting the teacher down for a good chat about it. I’ve built up a good relationship with her so know I can share my childs education rather than just hand him over. We have a good second best on our hands so don’t rule it out yet ... see how you all settle.
Much love and thinking of you as you tread this path.