With her son having ‘little accidents’ and afternoon naps, one mum is worried that he’ll struggle when starting school. Do you have any advice for this week’s A Problem Shared?
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My child is starting school full time in September but I’m really worried that he might not be ready for it. He still needs to have a nap in the afternoon, as he gets very irritable otherwise. He still has little accidents as well. I’m worried that with a class full of children the teachers won’t check that he needs to go to the toilet as much as I do. Also what will they do if he falls asleep in class? Will they tell him off?
Our FamilyPoint response on helping children starting school
Thanks for contacting FamilyPoint Cymru. Sorry to hear you are worried about your son starting school. A child starting in a new environment is always one of the hardest challenges of being a parent. Here at FamilyPoint Cymru we have come up with a few suggestions that might help you and also help your son along to start his new adventure.
Talk to the school
Contacting your son’s teacher could be the first step to putting your mind at ease. You could explain to them your worries. In turn they could talk through what they usually do if a child falls asleep or has an accident. This will help the teacher to get to know your son, keep an eye on him, and help him settle into the new school environment.
Teachers of young primary school age children will be used to children sleeping and having accidents at the start of term until they settle. Still, as a parent, there’s nothing wrong in asking them what they do in these situations. This can help put you at ease, as you will know what steps they take and what will happen.
Daytime napping and changing routines
Some children take longer than others to stop their daytime nap. However, you might be surprised how the distraction of a new environment will help your son to stay awake during the day. For the first few weeks your son’s routine will be very different for him. This could affect his sleep at home as well. Be prepared for adjusting the routine you have at the moment to his needs. He might need to go to bed earlier if he’s very tired after a school day or may even fall asleep on the way home! It will take a few weeks for him to adapt so be patient and be prepared for some changes.
Pack some spare clothes
Schools usually suggest packing a few spare clothes in all young new pupils bags in case of accidents. This will give you some peace of mind that your son will have some of his own clean clothes to change into if he does have an accident. Seeing other children going to the toilet frequently will also help him remember if he needs to go as well.
Try not to worry too much about your son starting school, which is always easier said than done! It is an exciting new chapter for him where he will make some new friends and learn lots of new things. He will develop new skills and soon settle into his new routine and environment.
If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
The FamilyPoint Team
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