Starting School? Tips for parents

Friday, 19 August 2011  |  Admin

I'll admit that these are slightly tongue in cheek but I found it a bit unsettling when my eldest started school as I really didn't know what was going on - so god knows how he felt. Here are a few top tips that I've learnt over the last two years which might make your life a bit easier....
Tip no1: Read the documentation that the school provide. Inside out and from cover to cover. You really don't want to be the only person whose child doesn't have their PE gear on the right day.
Tip no2: Decide up front whether you're going to be a clique-y Mum or not. I'm definitely not and now cunningly time collecting my boy from school so that I'm one of the last to arrive, therefore avoiding any unnecessary chitchat.
Tip no3: Always check your child's schoolbag for 'things of importance'. Although the majority of school letters can now be sent home via email, party invitations etc can be overlooked which is never a good thing.
Tip no4: Accept now that for 10 minutes before you leave the house every day you're going to spend the next 7 years saying exactly the same thing, aka 'the school run'
'Right time to brush your teeth.'
'No, brush your teeth, not the grouting on the wall tiles.'
'And not your sisters hair either.'
'Nice clean teeth all round. Right, shoes on everyone.'
'What do you mean you can't find your shoes. Have you looked? Yes? Really? Well what are they doing here then? Exactly where I said they would be and where they're always kept but you couldn't find them. Hm. Put your shoes on NOW.'
'Not on your sister, on YOUR feet.'
'Yes, you do need a coat.'
' I don't care that it's sunny at the moment, it might be cold or wet later and you might need it. Put your coat on please. NOW.'
'Finally, coats and shoes on, everyone out and into the car please, quickly, we're running tight for time because you took so long to brush your teeth / put on shoes / put on coats.'
'Into the CAR children! Leave the ball / sandpit / snails on the footpath alone. No 2 son, it is NOT funny to run away while Mummy is strapping in your little sister, leaving me chasing after you screaming like a fishwife. Nor is it funny to start stripping off all your clothes as soon as my back is turned. Never mind, get in, it's warm in the car anyway.'
'No1 son - where's your schoolbag? In the house? What's it doing in the house when it should be on your back as it should be every single morning of existence yet you seem to forget it every single day. Why is that, does some sort of selective amnesia which hits you the moment you walk indoors after school?'
'Yes, I know the car clock says 8:47 and we should be at school by 8:50. But if Mummy goes round this corner on two wheels, I might just be able to make it in time....oh, almost, no time to park up, I'll just pull up in front of the gate and you can jump out thereby blocking the road for everyone else and being extremely irritating....'

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