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Really anxious about son starting school(15 Posts)
I know I need to grow a massive pair , but I am terrified for my son starting school in September . Both for him and myself !!! I have low level social anxiety and have been to a few of the kids in his pre- school parties - where there are a number of well formed cliques already, I do try my hardest to smile and make chit chat , but the mothers are not interested and are all like stepford wives . What makes matters worse is my son is shy and it breaks my heart watching him play on his own at these parties - he is also reserved at the preschool which he attend twice a week since January . Basically I'm panicking about my social inadequacies affecting him . I'm clearly overthinking this all - he is 3 and is a summer baby and will the youngest in the year. Will we be ok ? Words of encouragement needed x
Just bumping this thread for you, @Choochoo2067 - hopefully someone will be along soon with some advice. We're also moving it to the Primary education section.
It is entirely normal to feel a little anxious when your eldest starts school. It is a whole new chapter in his, and your, life!
I think it is very normal for 3-4 year olds to not exactly join in at parties very much. Both of mine were like that - and are now socially very open and confident. I wouldn't take that as a sign of your 'social inadequacies' affecting him. It is just his developmental stage! Remember, they all develop at different speeds in different areas, AND he is younger than most of his peers, so there is absolutely no point in comparing him to his friends.
Yes, chances are there will be mums who know each other very well already, and it can seem 'cliquey' - sometimes it is, sometimes it only appears that way.
However, remember that there will be plenty of other 'new' mums at the school. And they will be feeling just as nervous as you! At the settling in sessions/information evenings/other similar events, if you spot someone standing around by themselves a little awkwardly, why don't you just go up to them and say something like:
"Hi, I'm x, my boy y will be in reception, are you new to the school too? I must admit, I'm rather nervous, more nervous than my little one in fact haha!"
And then ask about their children, people are always happy to talk about their children
Two more things:
- There will probably be a class e-mail-list/whatsapp group/facebook group. Get yourself on there. Put people's names along with their child's name in your address book, so whenever a message pops up it reminds you of which parent goes with which child e.g. Jenny (Georgina) ...
These groups are great for initial contact, and staying in the loop for what's happening.
- Though you will probably be seeing these people for a fair few years, they don't need to be your friends. You don't have to socialise with them! There is nothing wrong in just dropping your child off and leaving right away, and arriving just in time for pick-up and leaving straight away. You might meet some lovely people, and it is probably worth the effort to at least try (for occasional help with pick-ups if you have been delayed, shared lifts, that kind of stuff) - but if these people remain nothing more than 'acquaintances' to you, that is fine too and doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with you at all. Maybe remembering that you don't have to become 'friends' with these people (if you do, it is an added bonus) will help you relax a bit about it all?
Brilliant advice from the poster above..
I didn't have anxiety, but was very shy, wouldn't say boo to a goose..
That began to change mostly when my kids started school, finding that I had to talk to parents in the playground, teachers, Senco, support staff etc
Im a lot better now and actually will talk to anyone, especially if in a shop and making a passing comment,
I do though, still find it difficult sometimes to carry on a conversation that's been started, and you get that awkward ish silence, when you can't think of something else to say
However I just tell them that I'm not good at this conversation stuff and usually get a smile or a "me neither" back.
Give it time - I'd say it's probably taken me a year to get fully integrated into the school playground when DD1 joined the school slightly later than reception admission - but it's perfectly fine now. Once you have that common ground of "oh shit is it a dress up day next week" type conversation openers things are a lot easier.
I'll admit there's the odd day I bung mine in breakfast club as I can't be bothered being sociable though!
Thanks so much for all your lovely advice / comments - they have made me feel a lot better
Don’t worry I’m sure your DS will settle into school and make friends with the other children - they are all going to be new. I never did the playground bit as I collected from after school club. You don’t have to be friends with the parents - just be pleasant and smile!
You do still have time to ask that he joins Reception next year if he's not ready yet.
I wouldn't worry about the cliques. Kids form new friendships after nursery.
Check out this blog. You can ask questions directly to a class teacher and they will help give you honest truth. I think it is a new blog so give it a go and see if they make a post to help you.
I felt like this. Is it a biggish school? If so there are bound to be others like him so he can find a soulmate to be BFF with. He might surprise you and blossom. Who knows. Don't assume the worst. Schools are much better nowadays.
Best of luck. You won't be the only mum in the playground feeling like this.
It’s not a massive school , which is good . It’s really helpful to know that other people feel the same. Thanks for all the new helpful tips and suggestions , they have genuinely helped so much x
It's easy for me to say don't worry, because I was the same.
My Ds is also summer born and didn't have any friends when he started. he spent the first term basically playing alongside (but not with) other children, just watching them.
He's leaving primary this year and is popular with everyone, no-one has a bad word to say about him, he never struggles to find anyone to play with... So even after the slow start he has had a fab time and has some good friends.
Now I'm worrying about him making friends at secondary (none of his friends are going to the same school) but he went to visit and came home talking about his new friend....I'll still worry, but i am sure he will prove my worries wrong.
Good luck X x
It’s not uncommon when they start Reception to play alongside rather than with other children - that comes later.
Thanks for this thread OP! My DD starts September too, mid August birthday. I'm also worried for her. She's really shy and also does a lot of playing alongside. In fact she has several areas of difficulties that possibly signpost aspergers so we are monitoring how those things develop as she gets older and it does have me terrified that she will be left out or sidelined by other children for behaving slightly differently. I'm also quite socially anxious and we only moved to the UK in October so I don't really have connections to anyone at the school. There's some brilliant advice on this thread, just wanted to offer some solidarity!! Really hope your lovely son goes ok x
Thanks again for your messages. Good luck to everyone who’s little ones are starting school- hellodearhusband - your experience is really comforting to hear - I have every hope that my little man will blossom like yours - he sounds like a confident little man. Upthewolves - welcome to the uk! It must be incredibly stressful having had to sort out a school after just moving ! I hope your daughter will be ok? It sounds like you are looking out for her - I’m sure she will be fine with a lovely mum which I’m sure you are x