kindergarten residential trip, feeling nervous.

(11 Posts)
JonathanGirl Tue 13-May-14 13:57:30

Dd is 6 and is due to start school in September.

Her Kindergarten has a three day residential trip next month for the children who are leaving this year.

I am nervous about this - she has never stayed a night away from both parents before.

I know my insecurities are partly stemming from my British cultural background, I'm sure she would have a fantastic time with all her friends. I want to let her go (though we will have to find the money for it too, which will mean cutting back this month). But she is so little!

If everyone else is going, I don't want her to miss out. But I won't sleep the whole time she is gone.

I was hoping there would be lots of others on this board who have sent their young children on residential trips and lived to tel the tale, and whose children had a great time - I don't have anyone to discuss my worries with. All my UK friends are shock no way I would send my 6 year old. I need the steady voice of experience.

OP’s posts: |
drinkingtea Tue 13-May-14 15:09:38


Our Kindergarten does this too - they go on Friday!

My PFB went 3 years ago - youngest in her year and was still 5 (5 years 8 months), and PSB grin ...DC2 is going this year if he gets over the weird bug he has by then age 6 years 8 months (3rd oldest in his year).

Oddly I wasn't ridiculously worried about DD - she didn't have any concerns about going, had very strong social skills and had who to share a room with all sorted months before she went, looked forward to it hugely, enjoyed it massively, everyone in her intake went (small village - they all go from the one KiGa to the one school together, one class intake) and it was a very important bonding experience which they still refer back to today. She has a strong circle of friends, all but one of whom she was at KiGa with...

DC2 is a different kettle of fish, and has been very worried about it (waking at night having nightmares about it) but I have been building him up to it as I think its important he goes - he did an overnighter with Oma and Opa (luckily DH is German and they live an hour away) which he didn't want to do, but we eased him into by staying there a night too and then leaving him with his siblings the next night - he used to stay with them sometimes as a toddler (with his sister) but had been refusing to in recent years and we had let him stay with us while his older sister and younger brother stayed. DC2 has a more mixed bag of friends, mainly based around his football team and neighbour kids, a lot are older and already at school, and equally he plays with younger kids - so his peer group, unlike DD's, are not so clearly the ones going on the trip, and he is worried about who he will share a room with. Infuriatingly the boy he is closest to in his intake year is not going - DS's friend thinks for money reasons (the trip is €95), although his teacher told me it is his mum's separation anxiety grin

Anyway stupidly I am more worried 2nd time around, due to DC2's character, BUT I know (from DD's experience) that he will have a brilliant time once he is there.

His KiGa have been brilliant (they are fantasic anyway, love our KiGa) at allaying his fears and even had a "meeting" with him (with me present, in the staff room like a "grown up" meeting) where he could ask all his rather thoughtful insigtful - and bat crazy grin - questions. Since that and the over night at Oma's we are both less worried, but he still has a wobble about once a day, and I am dreading getting him out of our door to KiGa and on the bus on the morning...

What I am saying is... I've done it and DD had a great time, and I am so convinced it is overall a good thing that I am really working on selling it to my much more anxious and less enthusiastic DC2 as I think he will get so much out of it, if we can just get him to go in the first place and I've already paid -grin

How, crucially, does your DD feel about it?

NaturalBaby Tue 13-May-14 15:16:46

Yikes, I hope they don't do that here! My Ds starts Kindergarten in August and none of my dc's have ever spent a night away. Ds1 is 6 but missed Kindergarten because he's done a year of school in England, but Ds2 will go to Kindergarten and he's not the type of child I'll be letting go to school on his own!

doradoo Tue 13-May-14 15:28:21

My Kiga also did an overnight trip - and Grundschule are doing it for yr 1 in a couple of weeks too - seems very common all over DE I think.

The kids seem to love it and it's us parents who fret and worry - lots of cultural differences to get one's head around - am currently on the should they walk to/from school on their own debate - my boys 7 & 9 want to - despite the fact they only transferred to their Grunschule at Easter I'm the cautious one here!

drinkingtea Tue 13-May-14 15:28:25

Are you deciding at age 3 whether you'll let him go to school on his own at age 6 Natural ? I have a 3 year old too, I sincerely hope he's capable of catching the bus on his own by 6, though at the moment he is an unreliable loon who mainly likes jumping off high stuff (due to being 3...).

I think it is more common for KiGas to do a 1 night sleep over on the premises, so yours may well not do a 3 night trip, but most do something. I've found that since DD started school there have been loads of sleepovers, and the one girl who doesn't go on sleep overs does miss out...

DD's trip was too a little farm set up entirely for this purpose - its miles from anywhere, they have 1 KiGa at a time, no other guests, and there is a big playground on site are 2 little ponies to be ridden on lead ropes and a big cart horse that takes them on carriage rides, lots of rabbits they are allowed to handle, various farm animals to visit and feed, they go on a full day "hike" with a picnic and have a camp fire and after dark nature walk... the entire staff of the KiGa give up Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights for no monetary reward to do the trip, and the head of the KiGa has been doing the trip for 20 something years - a few of the parents have been! DS's teacher said the kids can even sleep with the teachers if they are worried at night, and can come into their room at any time of night (I know, that wouldn't fly in the UK but it is very reassuring when sending 6 year olds away for 3 nights - helps that the kids have known the staff 3 years too) grin I think it is a great thing which we are really lucky to have tbh.

JonathanGirl Tue 13-May-14 18:49:40

Yes, Dd is very enthusiastic about going.
And she will be going to school with probably all these children, it is an important shared experience, I know that.

All her closest friends are in the year below, which concerns me a little, but dd doesn't seem worried.

Wish it was just one night though.

OP’s posts: |
drinkingtea Tue 13-May-14 22:25:40

Yep, you have to let her go I think, unless you have any genuine foundation for anxiety (such as not trusting the staff or severe allergies that haven't been well delt with at the KiGa in the past, etc. etc.)...

I don't have a Friday/ Saturday night beer or bottle glass of wine when they are away, just in case I have to drive an hour in the middle of the night to fetch them (I have had to fetch DD at 2am on the 2nd night of a Zeltlager as she had just become too tired after 48 hours without sleep, and past being able to cope... that was last year though, on a church trip she'd been talked into going on by her best friend despite not being a church goer... nothing to do with Kindergarten). I "get" the feeling of being on egg shells till they get back - but the fact it isn't "easy" for us as parents is absolutely not a reason not to let them go, as long as they want to and the trip is well planned, you trust the staff, and they've done it before...

I could never go back to the UK with small kids to be honest as I think a lot of people complacently congratulate themselves for their self indulgent over protectiveness, and emotionally bully others into being equally over protective, when actually it is doing the DC no favours at all, and is all about the parents... Thinking more of the many UK friends who won't let their 8 year olds walk 5 mins to the shop in the middle of the day in a small town, but will let them watch wildly inappropriate films/ computer games, than the over night stays, but still - I think a lot of people actually think about their own comfort as parents rather than what is right for their kids, and then scorn anyone who does differently - have seen this on MN, but more so among old "mums group" / antenatal etc. friends/ acquaintances, school friends and family members in the UK...


WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 14-May-14 00:12:58

Yep DS is on his now, 5 days working on a farm and sleeping in a hayloft. He is bit older though but has a problem with his bladder strength at the moment so I was on pins over the weekend.

He will come back dirty, tired, without half his stuff and happy.

He went in his last kindy year and had a great time, they actually went over the border to Germany which freaked me out!

All my concerns came true - keeping clean clothes separate from dirty, washing properly, cleaning teeth properly, keeping dry etc. But he managed to come back in one piece with everything at least!

It was a great learning experience for him.

I am looking forward to a night out at the cinema with my husband and a meal together (where we will no doubt talk about DS and what he is up to) hmm

JonathanGirl Wed 14-May-14 08:00:25

Yes, we will have to let her go.

It is reassuring to hear that others have done this, and that it's a "normal" thing here. I suppose it's always hard the first time, whatever the age of the child, so best to get it over with!

I think one thing adding to the nerves is that we don't have a car - I think that's what makes it seem like she'll be so far away from us.

Must say, these trips to farms sound lovely, very idyllic. Sleeping in haylofts, riding ponies grin. Hope Dd's will be as good, though they aren't going to a farm.

OP’s posts: |
NaturalBaby Wed 14-May-14 12:37:06

drinkingtea ds2 is nearly 5 and gets very distracted so I'll be taking him to/from Kindergarten when he starts in August. He nearly ended up in the middle of the road the other day because he was too busy looking at the trees.

drinkingtea Wed 14-May-14 12:39:13

Ah sorry - thought he was 3, as he was hust starting KiGa - are you Ametican/ Australian school system rather than German/ Austrian?

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