Dear Principal Lisa,
I am dreading drop off at school this year, last year it was so hard getting my daughter settled into nursery for FS1 and now they are joining their older sister at big school for FS2. I’m nervous. I don’t think she wanted to leave the nursery, she had all her friends there and she knew the staff so well.
She is saying NO to me every time I mention school and she won’t even try her uniform on.
A very worried Sara.
I hear you,
I understand, it’s a big step and I imagine your older daughter went through something similar and is probably thriving now. I think it can be helpful to think about the end goal and trust in the school choice that you made. Schools are just as friendly as nurseries, it’s just they are bigger and more formal, the passion for children is still there. I understand that handing over your child can be daunting as its very different from nursery. Handovers tend to be quicker in a school than in a nursery. There are some things you can do in the run up to increase awareness and understanding of what she can expect. Sometimes the unknown is the worst part of any new situation.
Visit website/Instagram and look at photos, giggle about things together, talk about the different people, the setting; anything really.
Be positive and confident in your choice, it’s not up to your daughter to help you to feel confident in your choice, she has her own feelings to work through. Lead the way.
Hear feelings, validate them as normal, however, be clear about what the day will look like, and how and where you will say goodbye and pick her up from.
Read books like The Kissing Hand, Invisible String, Owl Babies.
Consider a transition object from home to take to school such as a family photo, a small item of yours, something small enough for a pocket.
If you can drive by the school and pop in, even if it’s to say hello to the gardener and the secretary… connections can start small.
See if you can meet up with another new child for a playdate or an ice cream in the mall
This phase will pass, your daughter will very likely be skipping into school in a week or so, I’ve seen it hundreds of times. Its incredible how quick the change is.
My final piece of advice is try not to focus on the goodbye part, it’s a small part of her day, it’s very likely she will settle after you go, usually schools will call if they feel they need to.
Yes, there will be big feelings, its normal, its ok. It’s a part of life, it doesn’t make it easier though. Focus on the bigger picture and all the exciting things ahead for her in her new wonderful school life. The world is her oyster, and maybe some new experiences lay ahead for you also.
No one gets up every day as a Human and says I want to go to work. Its ok to say you don’t want to go to school, it doesn’t change the plan, but the feelings are safe to feel.
Drop offs are no ones favourite things usually. Say things like I am here, you are safe. Mrs Jones is your safe spot etc, she cares for you. It will get easier. Stay in touch Darling
With Love as always Lisa