What to expect
During primary school you and your child will experience lots of firsts. And while children all react differently to new situations, if you know what’s coming you’re in a better position to give them the support they need.
There’s lots to take in during those first few weeks of primary school. Your child will be experiencing new feelings and situations and this is likely to generate a whole lot of emotions in both of you.
- Expect your child to be tired after school. Take a snack when you pick them up and be prepared for a few meltdowns. After behaving all day, you’re their ‘safe space’, where they can display their true emotions. This is called ‘After School Restraint Collapse’ and it’s a recognised phenomenon that can happen long after reception age!
- Don’t be surprised if, after a few days or weeks, your child declares they’ve “done school”. Manage their expectations by gently reminding them at the end of each day that they’ll be going again tomorrow and watch and listen to how they react. If you’re concerned about anything they tell you, speak to their teacher.
- Wobbles are totally normal. Your child might run in without a backward glance on the first day but be more reluctant to leave you as the novelty of school wears off. Try tucking the label off a teddy or a little note from you in their pocket, or draw matching hearts on your hands for them to touch when they need to feel close to you.