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First School Day Anxiety Strikes!

All smiles on the bus

New school year just started this month and the most anxious would be parents of the preschool kids. Yes, it’s us.  It could be because we are first time parents, or simply because kids as young as two or three years old is much more vulnerable than any other age.  We do not want them to be hurt, physically or emotionally.  She would be the little baby we saw inside her mum’s tummy, the one we watched sleeping soundly, the one we excitedly held as she learned to walk and the one we patiently taught to speak.  While I think these kids should be enjoying the free time of this phase in their life, we had to send her anyway so she could learn to mingle with other kids and be at par with kids of her age.  I just do not think she should be be too much pressured at her age.

I was looking at my blog stats the other day and someone landed on my blog with the search that run like “not happy with playgroup”.  Well, that’s probably another nervous parent trying to find a way out of the playgroup due to the first school day anxiety. A year ago, we had less anxiety as my girl’s playgroup was just walking distance from our block.  While her first day last year did not end up with cries, Yanna took about another day or two to realize she was being left in the school with the teachers before she got those anxious “don’t leave me” plea (Flashback: January 2011).

Back in the first week this month, we felt our heart wrenched seeing Yanna ride on the school bus for the first time.  She cried like we would send her away! Aaargh. Worse is that we learned she would be the first to be picked up, the trip is going to take like an hour (because the bus had to pick up other kids of course) and the pick-up time was 1 1/2 hours before school time! Who would not be stressed by that?  It was mind boggling if my daughter would ride a bus and uneasy for more than an hour! The school bus arrangement was rather odd as we did not get the details until the first day of school.  My wife called me and was thinking of transferring her to another school. Well, I am concerned but not not in panic as she was.

We sent her to Damien Center, which was the ultimate choice we made because it was the most reasonable in terms of cost.  There was no other school nearby and besides, it was run by the same church we went and it was in the same compound.  That was sufficient trust among other things we took into consideration. We have registered and have paid all that was needed including uniform and stuff.  Now my wife wants to transfer her!

She eyed on the next school option we had which was in the walking distance of our block but was like SGD 200 (per month) more expensive.  We were close to deciding on that.  She asked the current school of our plan to transfer due to the school bus arrangement and distance which we did not realize in the beginning.  Fortunately, as I was expecting, the school offered an alternative school bus that would pick up our daughter 45 minutes from school time; would reduce her travel time to about 30+ minutes and would not be the first to be picked up which will perhaps make her feel better to see other kids on the bus.  That pacified us.  So far, she’s doing good.  I’ve seen her picked up and brought back to our block by the bus and I feel relieved.

I am sure a lot of other parents have fallen trap what I call the FSDA (First School Day Anxiety).  Well, relax. With a playgroup or preschool, there is much more flexibility and therefore making rush decisions should not be taken.  This  will definitely going to be at the expense of your child’s peace-of-mind. I am sure you have taken some thought about the school before enrolling them there so deciding to transfer impulsively is not a solution.  Take it easy. Here’s some tip to make you think clearly:

  1. If it’s not a matter of life and death, sleep on it.
  2. Talk it over with the teacher or school management.  Raise your concerns or clarify doubts. Is it about the safety of the children? Did you notice the school premises to be health hazard? Any question can pop-up and if you do not get the facts, you will be the loser.
  3. Look for alternatives regarding your issues.  In our case, as we did not like the first bus arrangement, we could have opted to just bring her to school ourselves.
  4. Outside of the current school, think what options you have.  Why think of transferring the kid to another school if there seems to be no option?  Is the option affordable? Is it favorable to you geographically? How sure are you that you would not have the same issue or other issues if you transfer your kid to another school?

Keep in mind that there is no perfect world.  I am not saying you lower your standards about concerns regarding your kids.  Just be reasonable enough. Take a balancing act.  Everything will be fine.

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Categories: Schooling
  1. Bagotilyo
    February 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    “just be reasonable enough.” — Maybe thats all we need when we make any decision and action 🙂

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