Parenting

Now That You’ve Started Reception…

12th September 2019
Now That You've Started Reception... a letter to my four year old upon starting school

Now that you’ve started reception I can’t help but feel anxious. You’re in full time school now, and that’s a pretty major thing.

I’m not entirely sure why, but the lunches worry me the most. I think of you in the big hall, nervously waiting for your food and I wish that I could be there to hold your hand. I could send you in with a packed lunch so I know that you’ve got things that you will enjoy, and I can see exactly what you’ve eaten; but this journey is about trying new things, discovering new things and stepping outside of comfort zones, both yours and mine. 

I hate that I don’t know the processes, I’m not able to talk you through and prepare you for how it all works, because I don’t know myself. You’re new to being a pupil, and I’m new to being a school mum.

I ask the teachers so many questions, I think they’re fed up of me, I’m sure they put their head down when they see me coming.

You won’t tell me anything. You tell me to stop asking questions, it’s a secret, or that you want quiet time.

I hate not knowing. What did you have for lunch? Did you finish it? Did you pick what you wanted or did you just get the same as your friend because it was easier to just copy; I know that’s what I would have done at one point.

Did you wet yourself because you were too busy playing, or was it that you were too frightened to go to the toilet?

I know that school will be good for you, and you will enjoy it, even if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by it all right now. It will get tough at times, there will be times that you feel anxious, you may have to do things that you don’t enjoy, or don’t want to do. But it will strengthen you.

I hate not knowing who you played with, and what you played.

I feel guilty going about my day, doing things with your baby sister that I once did with you. I’m not sure whether to tell you that I’m planning to take her to Happy Hands, that used to be our thing and I know it will make you sad that you don’t get to go while she does. I feel like I’m cheating on you.

You told me that you didn’t want to go to school today, that you wanted to stay home and watch TV instead. I would have loved to have done that too, but we can’t. I really hope that you enjoy school, that your reason for wanting to stay home was because you’re tired, not because you don’t enjoy it.

Some days you seem a little sad when you come home, but you tell me nothing is wrong. I hope that you know that you can talk to me. I hate thinking that someone or something may have upset you and I wasn’t there to hold your hand or reassure you. You’re still so small, still so young.

You’re such a loving and caring little girl, and you’re so funny. The other children will be lucky to have you as a friend. You will make them laugh and you will care for them. You’re so confident when you’re with me, but I know that confidence slides when you’re not by my side. I’ll never forget when you first started nursery and you were sick in your hands, and you sat there trying to hold it all in your hands, too shy to tell anyone.

My school days weren’t a particularly enjoyable experience, and I think that’s why I worry for you so much. But you don’t need to know about that, not yet at least. You’re still so young and I really hope that times have changed and that you’re strong enough to stand up to the bullies, whether they are picking on you or someone else.

I know that school will be good for you. I hope that you will thrive with it. I wish I could be there to hold your hand, but I also know that it’s time that I let you become more independent, time for you to build your confidence, time for you to grow.

Now That You've Started Reception... a letter to my four year old upon starting school

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