Letting go is hard

The beginning of the year! How have you all managed?

Still uncertain about some things: roster, subjects, extra-mural activities, stationery, uniform, parent‰Ûªs evenings‰Û_ (I suppose very much like the headless chicken running around as in the previous newsletter).

How have the children managed?

Apprehensive, excited, teary, clingy, confident, insecure, nervous, happy‰Û_?

If you are the parent of the child that cries and screams when being dropped off at school and is being torn (‰ÛÏtaken away‰Û) from you. You probably feel like a terrible mom or dad that is leaving your crying and insecure child in someone-else‰Ûªs care. You don‰Ûªt know whether to stay or go or say one more last good-bye.

You can see it coming when you notice the posters on the door that say: ‰ÛÏto avoid the tears, say your cheers‰Û or ‰ÛÏkeep it brief, say goodbye, so they don‰Ûªt cry‰Û. And you put on your brave face and tone of voice and hopefully show no signs of weakness, but as you draw nearer and have to let go- the water starts running and the vice starts getting tighter and the waterfall and wailer begin. The teacher rips the Velcro child apart from its‰Ûª mother; its‰Ûª sustenance, its‰Ûª host. You are waved by the teacher to go, like shooing a fly.

You walk away feeling embarrassed, flustered, salty from tears, hair gone through a whirlwind and torn inside for leaving your child in a new setting that is familiar but portrayed (from the screams) as horrible or dangerous and ‰ÛÏwhy mommy are you leaving me here?‰Û

Whereas, if you are the parent with the child that is confident, happy and excited about going to school, the child gets to school, runs off as soon as seeing his friends, forgetting to say goodbye. Some parents may feel ignored, as if their child does not love them enough to say goodbye. But don‰Ûªt! You may safely feel at ease and can rush off to work without feeling heavy hearted. You should pretty much feel like your day can go smoothly from there on. Oh what the hell, you might even win the lotto).

Here are just a few tips to avoid or prevent any further waterfalls and deathly screams:

  • Assess your child‰Ûªs personality, how he likes things done. Go along with it, within certain boundaries.
  • Don‰Ûªt YOU be in too much of a rush yourself, make sure there is enough time to get dressed, have breakfast, so the ride to school and drop off isn‰Ûªt literally a ‰ÛÏdrop-off‰Û.
  • Prepare the school bag and set out the clothing the night before.
  • Don‰Ûªt show signs of weakness or insecurity. Be confident and loving in the way you say good-bye.
  • Empower your child; make him feel good about himself.
  • Draw a little something on his hand, or write a short note and place it in his pocket that he can read through the day, spray a touch of your perfume or cologne on him to smell whenever he needs to think of you to get through the day.
  • If it persists for over two weeks, it has led to manipulation then you should look into dealing with the issues, be it at home or school.

Good-luck! It will soon go smoothly.