So the new school year is in full swing once more, and our mornings are once more playing out in a much less relaxed fashion than they were last month. How's it going for you? The new term can take a bit of settling in, and it's no surprise really- particularly if you have children only just starting in reception. There's a lot to get to grips with, and the new routine can take a bit of getting used to also. And that's just YOU. Imagine how your child is feeling, going in to a strange place each day with lots of new faces, being told what to do all day long... no wonder energy levels can start to flag and tempers start to fray. Well, fear not. This week we're here to give you a few new term tips for settling in, for both you and the kids. You're welcome!
Get the tissues ready, again
It was you who needed them at first, watching your beloved baby skipping into the school gates for the first time, not a backward glance in your direction. Or perhaps your child clung to you for dear life, gripping your leg so tightly you thought your heart might break? Either way, those tissues were handy then, and they'll be handy now. Now is the time when kids start to realise that this school lark is for life, not just for September. Yep kiddo, you have to be there every day. And the first time is the longest too. Be prepared for some backlash, some tears, and some resistance. It's normal. As your child settles into a new routine this is bound to happen. Make sure bedtime is at a reasonable hour and don't try to cram too much into after school or weekends.Take the first term as easy as you can and be ready to mop some tears along the way.
Shoes. Shoes. SHOES!
Is it just me, or do school kids have an innate ability to lose their shoes five minutes after you were due to leave for school? No idea where they kicked them off the night before, no enthusiasm for finding them... and when they do appear (no, they didn't just jump out on their own) putting them on is another matter altogether. Incredulity abounds. As IF you want your child to put shoes on for school! Our advice? Keep cool. Shoes are the last thing you want to waste your energy on. Try to get into the habit of putting the shoes out ready the night before. Make sure they are labelled with names and with 'left' and 'right' and if they are lace ups, be prepared to lace them. Over time the phrase "Put your shoes on," will be met with compliance rather than silence. I promise.
Lots of parents stress over play time. Does he wear a coat? Does he have friends to play with? Do they make him go out in the rain? And no, you really cannot go and stand on the edge of the playground to find out for yourself. Likewise, questioning your child isn't always advisable either. Inevitably, your child will either tell you nothing, or that there are no friends in the world ever, and every play time is spent kicking dirt on the edge of other people's games. There is no better way to feel utterly wretched than to imagine your child friendless and alone at school. But there's every chance that this really isn't the case at all. Have a quick chat with the teacher now that the class has more or less settled in, and ask how your child is doing. There's a really good chance he's bonding well with a few kids so you need not to worry.
"What did you have for lunch?" is a really common question, and it's inevitable that you'd want to know. Be prepared for the standard response, "I can't remember." Yep, that meal was only three hours ago but it has been efficiently wiped from all memory. And why not? After all, it was merely a short, inconvenient break in between normal childhood proceedings. Watching so-and-so pick a worm up and make the girls scream is a lot more fun. If you really want to know what they're eating (assuming it's not a packed lunch you prepared yourself) check the menu by the school kitchen- most schools will have the entire term's meals planned out there.
What are your top new term tips for parents?