Kids returning to school is great. It gets them out of the house and back into routine. There are friends to see, interesting things to learn and lots to do! However, term time is intense. 10 weeks of school commitments and the pressure points of time management and social interactions can leave you aching for a holiday. Here’s 3 things that I hate about the return to school.
- Frenetic mornings and time pressure: If your kids are anything like my kids, getting out of bed and making sure they’re organised to be ready for school on time is a daily head ache. I hate having to drag sleepy children out of bed. When sleep is valuable, (especially for those who struggle with it) being gently shaken awake and told you have to be at school in 40 minutes is horrid. Younger children tend to wake early without much help, however I think the primary years are the most intense. Given their age, you as the responsible adult need to be hands on in getting them out the door. If you’ve got kids who take forever to get dressed or cry about going to school, it’s stressful. But for a mother of teens…yikes! While I implement, “Don’t do for your children what they can do for themselves” it’s pretty hairy watching them sail close to the wind each day. When they roll out of bed with 15 minutes till leaving, only to growl at you, throw together lunch, and eat breakfast running to school, it’s pretty crazy. Afterwards you feel a bit dizzy from observing the whirlwind that just exited your front door. Even Saturdays can be madness; if you have early morning sport to attend!
- The emotional demand of a kid who hates school: Some kids love school. They have great friends and a great teacher, so the social aspect of school makes it a place they want to be. Others love the stimulation of learning, or have particular subjects that make certain days awesome; it’s easy to get out of bed when you know you’re doing your favourite subject. (Sport seems to be popular with my kids.) However, if you struggle with friendships or are bullied; if you don’t connect with your teacher or perceive they don’t connect with you; or just hate most subjects and feel like you’re not much good at most things, then school is hard work. For a parent of a child who hates school, it is draining. The daily battle of getting them to go to school, the emotional weight of knowing that they’re struggling, and the repetitive coaching and counselling to help them through each day, can be incredibly difficult. No parent wants to see their child unhappy, or be in an environment that causes them stress. As a parent with a child who struggles with school, year in year out, the term time emotional burden can be a hard one to bear.
- Juggling of schedules, homework and extra-curricular activities: The moment school resumes, so does the paperwork, timetabling and taxi driving. The more kids you have at school; the more things you’ve got to be across and supervise. The sum total of assignments, reading diaries, teacher interviews, sports days and assemblies is enough to drive you mad. On top of this is the steady stream of notes to be signed and money to be paid for school excursions and the like. Like those clever clowns who manage to keep multiple plates spinning in the air at one time, is a parent with kids at school. The trick is to keep the plates up and spinning for the entirety of the act; the moment one begins to wobble or fall is the moment you lose control. Term time can be exhausting, and frankly holidays are a welcome relief from the school circus.