These little people of ours, they grow so fast but something made me realise the other the day that no matter how big and grown up they seem, they are still only little.
Little Man returned to school on Monday after nearly three weeks off school over the Easter holidays. He had a couple of days off sick towards the end of term and so it made his break almost an extra week long. I wasn’t prepared for how this was going to affect him.
He seemed excited all holidays to go back to school and to see his friends. He had a school trip on Tuesday that he’d really been looking forward to so I didn’t foresee the upset that was about to arrive and set the scene for a tricky week.
Back To School
Monday morning arrived and there was an open morning at the school where Reception parents can go in for the first hour and have a look at all of the work they have been doing over the last term. It’s something that I will always try and go to and this time was no different. I walked into the classroom to find my Little Man in tears. Of course, I wondered what on earth had happened in the twenty minutes since I’d dropped him off at the school door and his teacher just said he’d been like it since he arrived.
I sat him down and we had a cuddle and all I could get out of him was “I miss you, Mummy!’
And so this has been our week. Tuesday morning was the same and only made to feel a hundred times worse because he was going off on a coach for the first time ever on his first school trip. Anxiety about this was high anyway but given his state when I dropped him off, of course, it only multiplied.
After what felt like the longest day known to man, his Dad and I arrived to pick him up twenty minutes earlier than necessary and of course, he was absolutely fine and he’d had a great day. Just like everyone had kept on telling me he would. Easy to say that though isn’t it? I know it’s what they think we want to hear, but it’s like I said, in the grand scheme of things, he is still only little. Five is still small and he’s still my baby. Of course, I was going to worry.
Finding Some Comfort
I set about trying to get some ideas of how to help him through this tricky stage. I remember going through a similar phase when I was little, likely on more than one occasion and I can remember how upsetting it was so I wanted to do everything I could to help him.
I asked some of my fellow parent bloggers if they had any pearls of wisdom for me, and they did, so I thought I would share them with you today.
Lauren – sophiesnursery.com When teaching I would say to parents that, if they have a school bag, let them pack something small from home in it. It gives them a bit of familiarity & helps them feel less anxious.
Laura – fivelittledoves.com When my daughter was going through the same we both drew hearts on our hands so that if she was missing me in the day she could look at the heart and know that I was looking at mine too. It really helped!
Jo – cupoftoast.co.uk I haven’t done this for my boys, but my Mum used to put a tiny little bit of perfume on a hanky that I’d carry in my pocket. If I missed home during the day I’d smell it and it really helped to relax me. I can still remember the scent now!
Natalie – memeandharri.com My daughters have a little Pom Pom on their school bags which is to go and snuggle when they miss me. They love it.
Rebecca – mygirlsandmesite.com I put a little picture in their bag of our family, for her to be able to look at through her breaks. I also explained to the teacher about it if she needed 5 minutes.
All of these ideas are just the kind of thing I was looking for. I wanted to be able to do something for him that helped him during the day whilst I wasn’t with him. I particularly loved Laura’s idea about the hearts, so that’s just what we did.
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Together 💙 It’s been a bit of a tough week so far. This little one is wanting me all of the time & has been quite upset in the mornings when leaving me so today we decided to try and make it a bit easier. Full credit goes to @fivelittledoves for this suggestion! I’m pleased to say there were no tears today & several times this morning before school I saw him looking at it and smiling. He knows Mama is always with him. 💙 #MyBoy
He loved his little heart and as it says in the Instagram caption, there were several times in the morning before school that I caught him looking at it and smiling. I’ve got to be honest, I quite love my own little heart too. It makes me feel closer to him throughout the day and it’s reassuring knowing that he feels the same way.
That morning we didn’t have any tears. But the next day there were a few, but he was a brave soldier and walked into school on his own, despite feeling upset. I was so proud of him. I fought back a couple of my own tears and told myself he would be fine. And of course, he was.
As I write this post, that is where we are at. I’ve no idea what the next few days will bring, but it’s nice to know I have a nice little list of things to try and do with him. If I have to do every single one of them to help him feel better, I will. He may be five and looking and acting like a big boy, but he is still only little. He won’t be forever, but to me, he will be. And whilst he misses and wants his Mama that much, I will do everything I can to make it as easy as possible for him.
Have you had little ones struggle with separation anxiety? What did you do to help them? Let me know in the comments.
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