The Tale of The Boy, The New School Year and The Level Headed Mum.
It’s the eve of ‘return to school’ and my son is starting Year 2!
He has without a doubt had a brilliant summer, although if you were to ask him he would just say it’s been ‘boring’ and do a kind of roll of the eye face (yes, like the emoji!).
I must admit he has not been too bad and not really mentioned school and certainly not said anything about not wanting to go.
We have this ‘thing’ now where he likes to know what’s going on. He doesn’t really do well with ‘surprises’ and if I forget this point, which I have now and again, then it can turn into a bit of a disaster. Basically if I can ‘bore’ him with the information and get at least three eye rolls and a reply of ‘yes, I know’ then I’ve done good and the information has gone into his head (this is where I hi-5 myself).
I would obviously like to credit myself that I just knew how to keep him calm and how to get information to stay with him, but yes you’ve guessed it, NLP4Kids training is where I got this shizzle from. The NLP4Kids techniques are really life changing stuff and the result can really be outstanding.
Ok, so back to the Monday evening. We have got everything ready and he is showered and PJ’d, ready for bed. There is little fuss apart from him not wanting to go to bed, a bit of stalling – can he have another drink (he’s just had one), needs a wee (he’s just done one), I think you get the idea!
He’s only said once about not wanting to go to school. I change the subject and we have a little chat abut his teacher’s name because mummy is so ‘forgetful’ and then all is well.
Tuesday is here, it’s a very important day because it’s my Birthday….oh yes and my son is starting Year 2.
What really surprises me that he has come into our room at 6.50 am and has got himself dressed into his uniform! This is brilliant stuff; I am actually amazed and proud!
Everything goes pretty well, with little to no upset and, as previously mentioned, my son loves to be on time if not early before the school doors open. This is a highly motivating process for him and an extremely great tool for me to use to get him to complete tasks. Let’s face it, no one is motivated all of the time. We sometimes need a little nudge to get us going, mine just happens to be cake!
We leave for school and get parked up, Daddy is with us and I start to explain that our son knows which door to go to so he can show him where we need to go. Now, not to assume but he seems to be a little out of character. He’s not ‘being upset or emotional’ but perhaps a little ‘quiet’, maybe even nervous. I don’t point out the fact and just continue to talk about which door we need to use. As we approach the door I believe we should be going to, he slows down a bit and says he’s unsure where he needs to be. Before the end of the school term my son was very clear about where we needed to be for his new classroom. I re-assure him that even though he may have forgotten just now which door he should use he definitely told me it was this door that he uses. There isn’t a teacher to ask at this point but I just know it’s the right one. He goes to go in and then turns round and says ‘cuddle’ to me; I squeeze him and tell him to have a brilliant day. Off he walks, one could presume a little hesitantly, I would say just to give himself time to take his new surroundings in. Daddy does have to nudge me and say ‘are we off then? He’s gone now’. I just want to stand for another minute or two because, well, I’m his mum and I want him to be ok.
We pick him up…we ask how his day was. We get a shrug of the shoulders; we know he is a-ok!
It’s Wednesday and we have another good start, walking my son to school and he turns to tells me rather matter of fact that yesterday when he was going to the class room door he was feeling ‘worried’ about knowing which door he should have gone through and that once he was walking down the corridor it was ‘ok’, he remembered.
I use this opportunity to discuss that, actually, all or most people get ‘worried’, ’upset’ and even ‘nervous’ about ‘new’ things and we all show it in different ways, like being quiet or being shouty. I even honestly explained that I was a little bit worried too but that is perfectly ok. And that he actually knew the right door – he had just forgotten. We talked about life and how it can be full of new things and we will go through that and it’s ok to feel these feelings and we need to give ourselves time to get used to the new thing. I also said that now we know which door to use that’s another new item ticked off our list.
My learning from this?
1) Although we think we know all the different emotions our children might be going through, we don’t necessarily need to tell them that they are feeling nervous, anxious or worried. This can actually make the situation a whole lot worse. We don’t need to magnify the issue anymore. If we can keep them busy enough and chatty enough they can work through it themselves.
2) My son is tougher than I think. I happened to play this situation well and keep levelheaded and not ask him a million question of ‘Are you feeling nervous? Are you feeling worried?’ They might be feeling all those emotions and more but potentially I’ve managed to create a whole nightmare of a scenario into something that could have been avoided by asking all those questions.
3) My son talked to me about what he was worried about in his own time – I didn’t push the issue. We do have to let them be their own person. I can advise and attempt to prevent these situations, but sometimes they just have to get on with it. I listened to what he was saying and I reassured him that everything he was feeling is quite ok and that we all get worried at times.
By Dawn Howell
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