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Son starts school and we have never been apart for more than a couple of hours

(30 Posts)
jumpingjules Sat 29-Aug-09 18:17:50

My little boy starts school in 10 days. Hours are 845 to 3.30 and he stays for a school lunch. he has only done three mornings a week at Nursery before 8.30 till 12.30 and with a packed lunch.
how on earth will he cope with such a long enforced separation from me? I am in despair as we are joined at the hip and he is so unprepared for this huge amount of time without me. I have of course explained it to him but at not even 5 they simply don't have a concept of time. I know I have made a rod for my own back but he is a late, longed for only child and I have cherished the last five eyars of being with him all the time. He is a very tricky eater which is why I didn't leave him at nursery as he had a melt down but if I go in at lunchtime as they ahve suggested to help him out he will think he is going home. I haven't slept for weeks thinking about it. Anyone else been here?

catinthehat2 Sat 29-Aug-09 18:21:54

Jules - if not now, when? Age 6, 7, 8?

Lostmykeys Sat 29-Aug-09 18:22:05

You have said it yourself'they have no concept of time' He will be so busy with activities that he will not notice this extended day without you. It will be hard for you but try not to make it hard for him. Enjoy his days at school, make sure you have plenty of mother son time when he gets home from school. On the eating front you may find he jsut gets on with it - pack him up with things that you know he will enjoy and cope with eating on his own.

This is hard and you will wobble, but enjoy it, if he is happy you should be too.

cece Sat 29-Aug-09 18:23:30

he will be 5. it often amazes me how differently they can behave when i am not there.

hocuspontas Sat 29-Aug-09 18:23:33

Why can't he have a packed lunch at school?

He'll be fine. And you will be too. Good luck!

BonsoirAnna Sat 29-Aug-09 18:23:49

He'll be fine. My DD went from under 3 hours per morning to full days 9 to 4.20 this time last year and there was no problem at all, apart from quite standard adjustment fatigue.

cece Sat 29-Aug-09 18:24:29

sorry fine not 5. he will be so busy he won't have time to fret. although you will of course...

thisisyesterday Sat 29-Aug-09 18:24:56

jumpingjules, could he do mornings only to start with? when is his birthday? until he is 5 you can send him as litttle or as much as you want to (although you may have to fight to do it your way)

SoupDragon Sat 29-Aug-09 18:25:40

He will be fine.

thisisyesterday Sat 29-Aug-09 18:25:47

or have u considered home educating him?

scroobiuspirate Sat 29-Aug-09 18:26:40

try not too project this in him.

You're not the first to feel like this, it will be awful, it will be hard, for you, and you will prob cry.

He will be swept into the class and will prob be fine. Give him food he likes, and he won't starve. My dd is a really fussy eater too, but i don't hink goingin to help her eat would have helped tbh.

The school were nice to suggest it, but just see how he copes.

it will seem like it always was after a few week, trust me. my dd is 7 and i am feeling sad that we will be parted again, but it gets to be the norm after a few days!!

RedLentil Sat 29-Aug-09 18:30:00

My boy was equally in my pocket, and he went off to school without a backward glance.

He was exhausted for the first few weeks, but the 'no concept of time' thing works for them if they are doing interesting things.

DS was amazed that the school days were so short, because he was so absorbed in what was going on.

It sounds really patronising to say it, but it is definitely harder for you than for him. It certainly was for me.

Can you tell us more about the food situation if that would help?

giantkatestacks Sat 29-Aug-09 18:30:08

I think he will be fine - you however are a different kettle of fish. Just try and keep it together in front of him so that you dont pass any of your loss associations onto him.

Aftera few weeks you will see him growing in confidence and begin to learn so much more (academically and, more importantly, socially) even if it is a bit wobbly at first. Its really magical watching them become themselves - after all we are trying to give them the skills to be happy and secure away from us ultimately.

Have you worked out what you are going to do with your days? Like a course or some voluntary work to take your mind off it?

RedLentil Sat 29-Aug-09 18:31:51

What a lovely and wise post giantkatestacks.

I would have loved to have read that this time last year.

hocuspontas Sat 29-Aug-09 18:35:50

Don't say at the end of each day "Did you miss me?" or "I missed you". It will make him feel guilty. When you drop him off, tell him you love him, say goodbye and GO. Make it easy for him. It will be hard for you to start with but you probably won't be the only one.

franklymydear Sat 29-Aug-09 18:37:51

it's you that the problem is with. It won't be him. He'll be fine because he'll be busy and with new friends and experiencing new things.

He will most probably also eat fine without you, it is amazing what they do with other people and their peers around. I really wouldn't go in.

Please don't project your angst on him. This is the toughest role in parenting the starting to let go a little.

But you can do it, we all do it. You just have to do it in terms of what is good for him.

You need to practice a positive, cheery, uplifting face and give him the excitement of the experience and even if he cries during the settling period (which he may well do) affect an air of he's just being a little silly and it's all going to be fine and you're cheery about it.

giantkatestacks Sat 29-Aug-09 18:38:45

Thanks RedLentil blush

roisin Sat 29-Aug-09 18:46:15

My mum reminded me the other day that when we were young this was very much the norm. We had been at home with mum 24/7 until we were 5. There were no nurseries, no playgroups, maybe an odd parent/toddler group, but that was all. Then we started school and went full-time, and just got on with it.

Jumpingjules - It is unusual these days to have had so little separation. If the school teacher isn't yet aware of this, I think you should make sure they are informed so that they can help support his transition. But I'm sure he'll be fine.

ShowOfHands Sat 29-Aug-09 18:46:27

When I started school at 4 I had never been away from my Mum. No nursery, no playschool, nowt. I remember the first day vividly. I cried as my Mum left. She read Burglar Bill to me and then gave me a cheery bye bye. I sobbed for a while after she had gone.

I don't remember my second day at school.

I asked my Mum about it recently and she said it was the hardest thing she had ever done but by the time she picked me up at the end of the day I was absolutely full of it and I don't remember the second day because I wasn't upset at all. I adored school, absolutely adored it and was very happy indeed. I hated school holidays in fact.

I know how hard it must be for you. Have you read books about school together?

minimu Sat 29-Aug-09 18:47:08

Your Ds is coming from a home where he is loved and cherished and this will carry him through the day with confidence. He will enjoy making new friends and rising to the challenges school will bring to him because he is confident with his relationship with you.
Give him a big kiss and a wave and trust him to be able to deal with things - then go to the car have a big weep and keep busy till hometime!!!

YohoAhoy Sat 29-Aug-09 18:57:56

Slightly different angle, but this reminds me of when I started school.

Mum had tried me with nursery, but I refused to be parted from her, so she had to stay. If she tried to go I would become a limpet.

I followed her to the loo and basically wouldn't be left anywhere.

She was so worried about school.

But apparently we turned up the first day, she was prepared for a struggle and I turned round and said "Bye mummy, I've got to go to school now," and trotted in without a backards glance. And loved school from then on.

Hope this is reassuring

ChookKeeper Sat 29-Aug-09 19:06:46

I started aged 5 (mornings only) and on the first day my mom came to collect me and couldn't find me - I'd gone into dinners with the 'big children' grin.

dSil cried so much that she made herself sick when (my) dMil left her - every day dMil cried as she left the school feeling like the worst mother in the world .... until the day she went back and looked through the window to see dSil standing on a chair, beating her chest and doing a tarzan impression (having a whale of a time - the days before H&S of course grin)

Hope that helps wink

jumpingjules Sat 29-Aug-09 19:22:11

Thanks ALL of you.This is my first time on mumsnet today and I have shed my first tears reading your encouragement. When he was at nursery sometimes if he was there a bit later he would become sad and preoccupied and tell his nursery teacher that "mummy had forgotten him".Aagh. He was only just four then and is five in October.So will that help? The home option and packed lunch are out: this is a posh private school (more my husbands choice than mine)and is quite rigid.....I am so shaky I feel like calling a halt and sticking him in the village school where it is much easier! but I know he will have great opportunities where he is going as well. The food thing is a worry: he got the norvirus/rotavirus 18mths ago and was so sick he was nearly hospitalised. Since then all food is treated with suspicion and he will simplystarve if he gets cornered/encouraged too much.The school know all this and will work with him: oddly enough despite what i said above about the school, the Docs think that being in a dinner hall with other kids will be a cure in the end which is why we were in favour of it. I guess I just want the easy option to protect him and yes baby him a bit longer but it will get better won't it?

slowreadingprogress Sat 29-Aug-09 19:59:20

he is going to be one of the oldest in the year then if he is 5 soon after joining, so that will serve him well.

I agree that as parents we mustnt let our feelings affect this issue of seperating for school. Many children seem to just know school is different - it has to be done! My ds had a full year of being VERY wobbly at nursery, and seperating from me VERY reluctantly; and like you, he'd only ever gone for two hour sessions at the most three times a week.

However he didn't have a problem with lasting a full day at school (though he did find seperating from me for the first time very hard, I won't gloos over that!)

and this is a personal thing of mine, but keep an eye on just how 'rigid' your private school is - someone told me "don't choose the sector, choose the school" and that's such good advice. DS started off in a private pre prep but we ended up moving him to the local state which is far better with far better teachers and a truly nurturing atmosphere. The word rigid when it comes to the education of 4 year olds makes my hackles rise...........

slowreadingprogress Sat 29-Aug-09 20:00:47

oh bloody hell, 'Separating' not seperating and "GLOSS" over than not gloos.......where are my glasses wink

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