My 3 year old had his first week of school this week.  We were excited as well as anxious especially because it was his first day at on premise school after a year of online school. Thanks to the pandemic. My son was very excited to go to school on the first day. He had invited his grandparents and aunt to our place to see him off at the bus stop. It was all so jolly and happy as he left from here to school.

 

When we went to pick him up, the narrative had changed. My heart sank looking at his sad and sullen face. He came down the bus and said, “No one invited me to eat my tiffin today”. He was thirsty and hungry. He then toook his water bottle and gulped down the water. My husband and me looked at each other and our eyes conveyed the pit of emotions we were feeling in our stomach looking at our son.

 

The Expectation of a First Day

As a parent, we want our kids to come back from school on the first day hunky dory and saying they loved it. Of course there were kids who were like that on that bus. And with that expectation, the way we navigate our feelings when this doesn’t happen with our kids becomes crucial. The entire day I kept on asking my son some questions to ensure he atleast had a few snippets of good time in between. And I failed at every attempt at it. At the end of the day, I let it go and thanked my stars that my son still wants to go to school the next day.

 

The Reality

The next coming days, he brought some points back home which worried me as a parent. Someone hit him, he cried at school as he was unable to take his school bag on his own, he is being lifted in arms at school and he doesn’t like being lifted and that he feels sad at school. In all of this, as a mother my heart sank. I wanted to go out with him as his bodyguard and protect him from any unpleasant experience or person out there. Oh, the protective and tender heart and soul of a mother! But then will that help in the long run?

 

I kept asking myself, “How can I support him in his new journey and being out there in this whole wide world without his primary care givers?”

 

As much as I wanted to be his warrior, one thing I have learnt the hard way is you cannot lead or fight wars for someone else. Even if it is your son. He has to face his lessons, learn from it and then grow. I cannot be a crutch to him, rather be an anchor for him to grow.

 

Just today he returned from school and showed us a paper flower craft given by his teacher. He went and threw it in the dust bin. This action was so loud. He never throws any of his artefacts. It told us the entire emotional turmoil he is going through within. I did try and ask him why did he do that and he simply said, “I don’t like it”.

My son is an old soul. He has been in many lives before and this life he is here to put those learnings in place. He is an empath and that makes him extra sensitive to every emotion he feels. He doesn’t like to be amongst many people. Hates to be in a crowd. He doesn’t like outsiders touching him. He likes his own space. He cannot watch anything that is violent or loud like the superhero cartoons. He observes a lot and soaks in a lot. He takes his time to settle, to adapt and make someone his own.

 

Knowing this about him, it was foolish on my part to expect his first days at school to be like breeze. Of course, a mother will wish that. So now instead of forcing him to come and tell me he likes the school, I have started empathisizing with his feelings and wants. Asking questions is also not helping. So for now though my blood is boiling inside and my heart is aching, I am being a good listener to him. Listening what he is expressing and also what he is not. Providing support where it is needed and he wants me to help.

 

I also told him that it is perfectly normal that he doesn’t like school as of now. And maybe tomorrow he still may or may not like the school. And it is fine too. We are talking a lot these days and I am happy that he is communicating his feelings to us. I think our quest in ensuring his all around well being is half won there. Whenever I get the overdrive of protecting him from the world, I take a few steps back and ask myself, “How sustainable is this approach?”

 

He also asks me to do certain things like raise your hand, wriggle your fingers, say yes ma’am when I call your name. This tells me about the fun part of the school which he is experiencing and my heart smiles a little 🙂

 

So the jist is not all kids have the best days of their life at the onset of school. My son is one of them. And that is fine too.

 

Fellow mommy, if your kid is taking a while to warm up to school, know that you are not alone. If your kid is an empath like mine, know that you are not alone. If your kid is saying he/she doesn’t like school, know that you are not alone. You are not alone. Let’s not compare our kids’ school journeys with the other ones who seem to be having a blast at school. Let’s give our kids some time to adapt and grow in their own speed and time 🙂

 

And as we do that, let’s take care of ourselves too Mommies. Let’s not ignore our mental and emotional health as we tend to our little ones’ extra needs during this time!

 

PS: If you are still anxious about you kid’s first day at school, drop me an email at bohemianpradnya@gmail.com and I will send you a guided meditation to ease your anxiety <3

 

 

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