Outside School Hours Care

A Big Step for Everyone

| Admin | Child Care Centres

Starting school is a big step for a child, there is a ‘new setting with more children, new rules & routines’ all of which can be scary for children but worrying for the parents. Along with this worry, parents are coming to terms that their little baby is now a big person who is becoming more and more independent and needing you less.

Sarah Ebner states in her book 'Starting School Survival Guide: everything you need to know when your child starts primary school' ‘Parenting is a constant "letting go," and this starts from when your son or daughter is just a baby. You want them to be independent, but that does not mean you do not feel saddened by the fact that they seem to need you less. Starting school really emphasises this process.’ Educational psychologist Alexis Beaver knows that many parents feel this way also. She states, “Your children don't need you less, they need you at different times," "When your child starts school, you have to enjoy the moment and see it as a new opportunity. There will be lots of other moments you can enjoy too. It's all about living in the present."

It’s very easy to find yourself grieving for a little bit when your child begins school but try to be positive whether it’s how you feel or not. Parents can sometimes let their experience of school guide their child’s experience so remember it’s about them and not you. Times have changed and our school systems and curriculums are more advanced and more exciting.

You’re not alone with how you feel, remember many parents around the globe will be going through these very same emotions. It may be helpful to connect with the other families whose child are in the same class. Most classrooms have a class rep who can help you connect with each other and who also organise social events. Teachers are very aware of the emotions and stress that parents feel. They too have had to go through the same situations themselves with their own children and also deal with this on a regular basis with the influx of new children and parents each year. Many teachers make the time whether through quick catch ups or meetings to reassure parents that everything is ok and that their child is fine. Parents need to have the confidence in their child’s teacher and allow them to do what they know best, how to help and work with children.

If your little one has taken the big step into school, Parenting SA has released a great information factsheet with some helpful tips for families, this can be accessed at http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics - Parent Easy Guide 48

Starting school can be an emotional ride for everyone but it’s an exciting time of change and development in the next phase of everyone’s life journey. Good luck!

Written by Natasja Lindgren, Area Coordinator Zone 1

References
Sarah Ebner is the author of the 'Starting School Survival Guide: everything you need to know when your child starts primary school', published by White Ladder