Staring School is yet another milestone for the young mothers whose 2 or 3 year olds now begin their exposure to the world outside their protective homes. Surely an unnerving feeling for not only the child but the mother too.
As I approached the ﬁrst day of playschool for my two year old this year, I saw myself doing exactly what I had thought I would never do, !PANIC”. I tried to do all the right things, read quite a lot of articles on the subject and tried to follow the precious advice the teachers, psychiatrists had to offer in magazines and on the internet. I started talking to my little one about school, teacher, playmates, painting, coloring, this that and the other so that he is familiar to the idea, although his blank expression suggested I am getting nowhere. I took him shopping for a school bag, a lunch box and whole lot of goodies which would make him look forward to this change.
So the day came, and after having taken enough pictures and all the emotions running hither thither, I started my journey towards the school with my tummy in knots. It was the! First Day” after all, I guess more for me than for my young one. We reached school and with a deep breath I took him to his room. The room had enough stimulus to hold any child”s attention and it worked very well for him too. He was amused to be in this environment and started to mingle with other kids. Easy, I thought, it had proven to be much more pleasant than I had imagined.
The !First Day” went just ﬁne like a pleasant breeze. Little did I anticipate that this pleasant breeze was the preamble to the thunder storm. The second day brought a fair amount of awareness in the young mind that the school is here to stay and was not a once off event and this meant separation from Mum which brought a signiﬁcant amount of insecurity into the innocent and pure mind. It broke my heart to see him crying and howling at the moment of separation and this was the time when I reminded myself of all the advices I had read and I must confess it helped.
Although every child is different and every mother has to deal with the situation in their own unique way yet I think the utmost important thing is to be as normal as possible in front of your child even if you are overwhelmed. Children tend to read a lot from their mother”s body language and therefore if the mother is anxious, a lot of her anxiety gets shifted to the child. Showing affection towards the teacher by giving her a hug and listening to her intently also helps a child place his trust upon the teacher. A lot of times quick separation is the best option and the mother must adhere to that when teacher suggests likewise. The mother must realise that the failure or success of this new transition would depend on her attitude more than the child”s attitude because the child is an extension of the mother”s personality and will gather a lot from mother”s state of mind.
Its usually the days that follow the !First Day” are the ones that are difﬁcult, and in my case the worst was over by the third day and within a week both of us had okayed the transition. My little one is now a happy school going chap who though a fussy eater now enjoys his lunch with his playmates. Starting school is a big transition,and like any other change is uncomfortable and unsettling but its also the moment that begins to give the child independence and initiates the process of maturity. Letting go of all the fears on the mother”s part will help the child to feel secure and make him look forward to this change in