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Starting school

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Separation Anxiety With a 5 Year Old.

As the title says we’re having separation anxiety issues with little C at the moment and he’s now 5.

I think a lot of it has to do with starting school because looking back it seems that’s when most of this started. I’ve had him with me for the most part of 5 years. I was a stay at home Mum and apart from him doing a few session a week at pre-school he’s had me to himself for all those years.

He started school back in September – being one of the oldest he didn’t start until around the middle and until half-term, he only did half days until 12, so I collected him and we still had lunch and our afternoons together.

Despite the separation anxiety he’s really loving school and he has settled in so well …. once we have parted ways in the morning that is!

For the first week, he seemed to go in just fine. A little bit overwhelmed perhaps and a bit wide-eyed but none the less he went in ok. But one Monday morning he took me by surprise by getting so upset when we got to school and when it was time for me to leave. The floodgates opened and he was literally begging me not to leave him. I was so shocked by it I come outside and cried. He has never done this, never in the 1.5 years at pre-school did he get so upset, In fact, he never even cried once on the drop-off for pre-school. The teachers were lovely and said they would call me in a while to let me know how he was and low and behold by the time I got home I received the call to say he was just fine and had settled.

Almost every morning since then we’ve had tears at drop off. I’m not pandering to anything so he’s not doing it for attention. I don’t think he’s keen on walking in and going off to find something to do, he almost needs guidance and some confidence so I tend to find a TA to leave him with until he warms up a bit.

C’s school have an online journal diary. It’s a fantastic little system and gives parents a chance to see what their little ones get up to in school with photos, videos and a little written description from the teachers. It’s updated every few days and he honestly looks like he’s having the best time at school. Every photo he’s in he has the biggest smile, he looks so happy and they get up to so many different fun things. We had his first parents evening recently and both his teacher and TA couldn’t have said nicer things about him. Apart from the morning tears and wobbles he’s very settled during the day, he’s learning to sound out words so he can read and his maths is excellent and he’s very popular and has lots of friends at playtime. Every afternoon I collect him he comes running out with a big smile and on the walk back to the car he’ll hold my hand skipping along telling me about his day. He started off having hot dinners at lunchtime but I think he found the hot meal hall a little loud so we’ve switched him to packed lunch and he seems much happier at lunchtimes now too.

But something is unsettling him. He’s become very clingy to me now even at home, he gets very distressed or upset if I go with without him (whereas before he was fine) and we are also having issues at bedtime now too. As bedtime approaches he starts to get upset, he says he doesn’t like being in the room on his own and that it’s ages until morning. He’s woken almost every single night with some sort of dream, not related to school as such but lots of different situations involving all of us at some point. Sometimes he was waking 2/3 times a night. We’ve actually had the last 4 nights where he’s slept through and S and I said it was like having a baby again because we woke up one morning and said: “we slept through, he didn’t wake up!!”.

I definitely think it’s a phase he’s going through and it’s down to the upheaval of starting school. I’m hoping the more he settles in and gets used to going the better he will be and all of these issues will lessen. I hate seeing him so upset and worried and like I said I’m not pandering to it so I don’t encourage it but at the same time, it’s hard not to scoop him up and give him attention for it. It’s clearly not just babies who go through stages like this and speaking to my Mum this morning she said L went through similar when she was little too (you tend to forget don’t you?)

Have you had similar issues with your little ones when they started school? How long did it last and do you have any tips on how you dealt with it/helped them?

 

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

Monday 18th September 2017 is the date that’s been in my mind and diary for the last five months. It’s the day you start school.

Funnily enough, the 18th September 2012 was your due date. Five years on and the date remains an important day in my calendar.

 

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

Five years ago (well almost, you’re just two days away from being 5) you come bounding into the World. You never think then how fast the next few years will go of being at home together – you just assume it’s years away and it’ll take forever to get there and you just take in for granted those days spent together will last forever. I know people say it all the time and it’s such a cliche but they have honestly whizzed by so quickly I can’t quite understand where they’ve gone. You’ve gone from our little newborn to a happy smiley baby onto a very energetic toddler who liked to climb everything. You would climb onto my windowsills after searching out a box to push over to sit under the window to help you up, you would climb on your little Ikea kitchen (and I’m talking about being just a year old!) you would grab hold of both handles on the French doors and use your feet to climb up the doors … the list was endless. You gave us a fair few frights seeing what you were getting up to.

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

You started pre-school in January 2016 and right from the start you absolutely loved it. I never had any problems dropping you off and you always had such fun coming out at the end of the afternoon with a smile. You would hold my hand and you would skip along next to me chatting about your afternoon, what you had played with, who you had played with and what snack you had

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

 

When you finished pre-school in July I knew that we had 8 whole weeks together. I planned on doing as many fun things as we could as well as doing what you like best …. spending the whole day at home without even getting dressed.

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

I thought those 8 weeks would last forever .. silly I know but I did think it would, but alas here I am sat here writing this at the end of those 8 weeks, your uniform is all washed, ironed and labeled and sat ready for you to put it on in the morning.

I’ve had the best (almost) 5 years. We’ve done so much together. From toddler groups to music classes with Heather, we’ve met with friends for play dates, we have gone to soft play, parks, the beach, we’ve gone swimming, we’ve met up with your Auntie & Cousin every week to go on a new adventure. We’ve gone to adventure parks, farms, Country Parks …. you name it we’ve done it. We’ve certainly made the most of our days out during term time because I know from now on we’ll have to do all of these things on school holidays, weekends and the odd inset day. The best decision I made was to get us both annual season tickets for your favorite place ever ….. Paultons Park, I wanted to get them so we could experience going whilst everyone was at school and make the most of the park and the rides being quiet. I think since May we’ve been practically every week and you’ve ever got bored of going. I’ve loved our days there together and although we can still go for years to come there really was something quite special about going whilst everyone was at school and work. I think you must have been their biggest “summer beach party” fan!

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

 

On Your First Day At School My Little Boy

 

You’ve given me a new lease of confidence, I’ve done so much with you beside my side and you’ve been my buddy. I’m sure going to miss you so much during the day and I’ve been dreading ‘handing’ you over to someone else to be with them during the days. You’re mine and I don’t want to share you. I want to know what you’ve been doing without having to find out snippets when you remember to tell me. Thinking about you starting at times has made me hurt really bad inside, my heart has ached at the thought of this new journey starting and some nights (a good few nights) I’ve gone off to sleep thinking about it with tears pricking the back of my eyes.

You’ve not really expressed much about going to school because I think it’s been mentioned so much you’ve almost given up waiting …. but now you’ve known for a few days the big day is almost here you’re starting to get excited and chatting about going with your best friend in the entire world.

I don’t know how I’ll feel tomorrow stood there gripping your little hands tightly but not too tight it hurts, my heart beating and dreading the time it comes to let go … let you go off on this new journey and let you off into the real world on your own two little feet. This is the start of your education, the start of you beginning to learn the world around you more than you do now, to learn how to read and write and make new friends. I know you’re going to absolutely love being at school … well, I hope you do and I hope you love it as much as pre-school. I know once we’re into a routine of being at school it’ll seem like second nature to me (well us), but I do know that at the end of every school day I’ll be there stood waiting to see your little face, to grab your hand and walk off together listening to your tales from your day. I will look forward to the weekends and school holidays as we shall make the most of those days.

From my squishy newborn to a toddler, to a pre-schooler to my big primary school boy. It’s been a blast and although I don’t want to do it again with another I would love to go through it all again with you. If only we can rewind the clock eh?

Always stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone bring you down. Be strong, be kind. But above all just be you. You’re an amazing, funny, caring little thing and big school is very lucky to be having you.

As much as I don’t want this to happen I am really looking forward to watching you in your future nativities and sports days and seeing the new friends you make.

Good Luck on your first-day sweetheart. I’ll miss you lots but I know you’ll be mine again at the end of the school day.

Lots of love always Mummy xxx

 

The day before school admissions reveal!

*Gulp* The day is almost here. Tomorrow Tuesday 18th April 2017 marks the day we find out C’s school placement. The school his name is down against and the school he will start in September.

Am I excited? Not really, no. C is our last child and him going off to school marks the end of a lot of things. He’s the last ‘baby’ to be at home with me all day – he’s my little buddy and companion and I hate the thought of him being somewhere for 6 hours a day. I like our time together. Whether it’s just having a day at home or enjoying a day out. Come September I will no longer have the ‘child at home’ (except evenings, weekends and holidays obviously) but you know what I mean.

I know everyone says this, but it really only does seem like 5 minutes ago he was born. These past 4.5 years have gone by so fast and I wish I could re-live them all again. I’m not ready for him to go off into the big wide world (ok, that’s a bit extreme I know).

Tomorrow morning, just after 9am I will receive an email, I doubt I’ll sleep much tonight. I, of course, want the email so I know that he’s got into the school we want him to go to and also the school he himself talks about going to.

I do, of course, want the email to come with good news. News that he’s got into the school we want him to go to and also the school he himself talks about going to. Wish us luck.

Who else is waiting on school placement news tomorrow?