Last week, I wrote a post about how Pip was completely ready for school. All of the practical stuff has been sorted out, Pip has all of the basic skills she needs and she seemed really excited about it. We’d explained in detail what school would be like and she seemed happy about it. Until yesterday evening.
It was nearly dinner time and she was hiding under the dining table. This isn’t unusual, I often find her playing under there so I just asked her to come out and sit up ready for dinner.
‘I don’t want to have dinner. I’m not in the right mood’
Crouching down to look under the table, I saw that she was sitting with her arms holding her knees to her chest with a very sad look on her little face.
‘What’s the matter, sweetheart?’
‘I don’t want to go to school’.
‘What I say something silly or trip over and everyone laughs at me? What if nobody wants to be my friend? What if I don’t know my letters and everyone thinks I’m silly?’
This was a shock. Pip is one of the most confident 4 year olds I have ever encountered. She never gets self conscious or shy. The statement on her nursery report said something like: ‘Pip is a strong minded girl who knows exactly what she wants’. That really does sum her up.
We managed to coax her out and Husband had a chat with her while I finished making and serving up the dinner. He explained, very gently, that she might trip over or say something silly but so might any of the other children. It’s really not going to matter too much, people laughing isn’t going to hurt. If she actually hurts herself tripping up then she should let her teacher know. She’s a lovely person and as long as she’s kind and nice to everyone then she will make friends.
She was starting to cheer up after that. I told her that she’s very good at her letters but the teacher is there to help if she gets stuck or has any trouble. I promised that if she ate up all of her dinner, then we could do her letter puzzles afterwards. She agreed and we all ate dinner.
Of course, she did the puzzles pretty much by herself and could name every letter and word on them, as she always can. She cheered up more and more with each one completed and it was lovely to see her confidence coming back as she went. In the end, she declared that she did want to go to school after all.
Crisis over and much relief all round. But this has shown me that I can’t take her confidence and usual self reliance for granted. Going into school is going to be a big deal and, even if she’s taken everything in her stride up until now, this might be a bit trickier for her than we thought. She’s going to need all of our support.
How did your children react when first starting school? Did they get nervous?