developmental milestones · education

Going Back to School

So these days I’ve been busy going back to school.

Yes, it’s amazing how the years have flown by so fast that it is time for Little P to go to school – preschool that is.

It seemed strange to be getting back to school after all these years and I could understand the puzzlement on the faces of all the little children who were being led to school by parents who looked equally anxious and worried. By the first few minutes some of the kids cottoned on to the fact that this was not really a fun place where mommy and baby were going to play together but a fun place where ‘teacher and baby’ interacted instead. Some of the wise ones began the Song of Wails and soon it became the popular war cry. For the first few days, the teachers gamely allowed the parents to sit in and try to ease the parting for both but finally today, they decided that they didn’t need any rescuing and after the first chorus of the Song of Wails, politely told the parents to move out of sight and out of mind because strangely these little pre-schoolers not only have razor sharp vision but have an acute sense of knowing that parents are around or nearby and continue to play up as long as they are within hearing distance.

I myself was a little reluctant to leave little P by himself but yesterday his teacher spent the better part of his orientation walking him up and down and explaining to him how fun it was going to be once he stopped thinking of home and his granny waiting for him outside. Watching her gentle handling of the child reassured me that she was more than capable of dealing with his crying and perhaps this lack of anxiety on my part helped him settle down today. Before his whimper could develop into a full cried chorus, she whisked him away and as I waited outside the school, I found that all the other mothers looked less worried and within minutes the cries were silenced and replaced by the sing-song voices of teachers

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As the parents got over the shock of silence the air seemed to lighten and I could see the relief writ large on their faces. Sending children off to school is traumatic for the parents – more than for the children I think – simply because of the horror stories one hears of in this world. Yet going to school is inevitable because children need to learn how to interact with others because, at the end of the day, we don’t live in a bubble. So drop that anxiety as you say goodbye to your little one…..he is more ready to leave you than you think he is!

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