Like many parents out there, my little girl will be starting school for the first time in September. I am so not ready for my baby to be going to big school. She’s a baby! Okay, I know she isn’t actually a baby anymore, but I think compared to some of the other children that will be starting school with her, she does seem very baby like. This has left me asking the question, ‘is my summer baby ready for big school?’
Molly, born mid-July, is a summer baby and has only just turned four. Yet, some of her soon to be classmates, my niece Jess included, will be turning five in September. There is almost a year’s age difference between them! An age difference I think is very noticeable. Jess is a little girl who is more than ready to be starting school. Molly, on the other hand, is very obviously developmentally a lot younger.
Over the last few months, I’ve debated with myself about whether or not Molly would be ready for school and if I should consider deferring her place for a year. I have concerns for her wellbeing because:
- She doesn’t like big groups of people and doesn’t deal with them very well
- Too much noise is a big no-no
- Mixing and joining in aren’t her favourite things to do either – she’d rather sit at the side observing. She prefers her own company, which is just fine, but she does need to make friends too
- When around loud noises and crowds Molly becomes really angry and agitated, often resulting in a meltdown. Will this happen at school? How will she cope without me to comfort her? How will her teachers handle it?
As Molly will just have to ‘get on with it’ at school, I’m worried this will have a detrimental effect on her mental health. I don’t want her school days to be one long bad experience for her. A place that fills her with dread. A place where she has to try and hold it all together until she gets home at the end of a long day, before starting over again the day after. She does have long days at nursery now but the classes are smaller and she has a day off in between to ‘recover’.
After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided that the best option is that she should at least try school. I don’t think it would be very fair of me to deny her the chance. And anyway, I don’t think I could stand another year of her mood swings. Ahem… Did I say that out loud…? Her nursery keyworker agrees that going to school is the best decision too.
She may not be as ready for school as Jess or other children, but the progress she has made in nursery over the last few months proves to me enough that she will be just fine. She may actually surprise us and enjoy it. I have already spoken to her teacher and I will again before she starts at school. If there are problems after she starts we will deal with them. And anyway, if I defer her now, she still has to start next year and we will no doubt have the same problems then.
There is another problem too. The colours of the school uniform are blue and grey, much to Molly’s displeasure. She refuses to entertain the idea of wearing blue and grey. She wants to wear pink! “Mummy, blue is daddy’s favourite colour. Mine is pink so I am wearing pink. I am not wearing blue!” She’s adamant! I’ll get her a pink bag and coat and hope that appeases her enough…
Is my summer baby ready for big school? I don’t know but I guess I will soon find out soon enough! Maybe I should do some meditating and chill out in the meantime. What will be will be so there’s no point in worrying.
Are you worried about whether or not your child is ready for school? Do these worries come out of concern for our children’s capabilities, or could we just be worrying because our babies are going off into the big wide world? Maybe us parents just aren’t ready for them to grow up. Let me know what you think in the comments below.