One of the biggest concerns I had for my children starting a new school was settling in.
B2 suffered terribly last year from separation anxiety. To the point where I couldn’t go to his classroom or even say goodbye when I dropped him off. His teacher was fabulous and by the end of the year, while I still couldn’t go to the classroom, I could at least say goodbye as he got out of the car.
I spoke to his teacher early, as soon as I knew we would be starting a new school. She helped him to develop more confidence.
B2 is 8 and he’s had the same best friend since he was 2. They met in childcare and are honestly like brothers. Actually, sometimes they remind me of an old married couple the way they argue one second and are best friends the next. It was one of those special friendships that don’t come along too often. They had other friends throughout the years but they always gravitated back to each other.
B2 struggles socially. He’s slow to meet milestones socially but I have been assured that it’s perfectly normal. He’s about 6 – 12 months behind which at 8 makes a difference.
I mentioned this to his new school and I think for this reason he was placed in a composite mixed year 2/3 class with the new school. At first I was concerned. You see, academically he excels and of course I was concerned that he was going to fall behind. But I decided to give it a few weeks and see how it went.
On his first day, I had braced myself for tears and physically attaching himself to me. I prepared myself. He said he wanted to walk into the classroom alone, so i let him go. After a couple of minutes I went snuck my head into the classroom. He was sitting at his new desk in his new classroom with a grin from ear to ear. “It’s OK, Mum” he says “you can go, I’ll be fine”. Wait, no tears, no tantrums, happiness – what is going on!!
I waited outside the classroom for a little while and eventually left. He was fine, he was totally fine. After school I again braced myself for tears bcause he didn’t make any friends. I’d prepared what I was going to say, I’d even planned to take him to McDonald’s for afternoon tea as a treat. To my absolute amazement he walked out of the classroom surrounded by new friends. There was a smile on his face I hadn’t seen in years. He was happy and relaxed. He was a different kid.
We’re now into Week 5 of the term. I’ve decided it’s best he stay in the composite class. Academically there is no benefit for him, in fact, I expect he will fall behind but socially – my goodness, socially he’s excelling. He’s in his element. He is so confident and he is shining.
I actually wish I had some tips to pass on to other parents who are right where I was last year. But I don’t have any. I think just time and understanding has given him the confidence and security to deal with things better.
I am proud of all of my kids for the way they have handled what goes on in their lives, but B2 – you rocked this buddy and I have never been happier for you.
Kirsty is the founder of That Noise Is Mine.
An established blogger, writer and business owner raising 4 children independently. Kirsty is determined to succeed in this new life forced upon her.