If you’re anything like me, you have the tissues on hand and the waterproof mascara on for your child’s first day of school, which is probably round the corner for many of you. My son is starting grade three next week, and while it’s not our first rodeo, I’m still likely to get as emotional as all the other times.
What if my son doesn’t get on with his teacher? What if he gets anxious or upset? What if has no one to play with at break? But more than that, the first day of school is always a reminder to me that my son is growing up, and while that’s a beautiful thing and a privilege to experience, a piece of me still yearns for my “baby”, and for when I could guard him better and watch over him closer.
That said, and all the tears and fears aside, the first day of school is an exciting one for us – from the polished shoes and newly sharpened pencils to finding the classroom and reuniting with old friends.
Twinsaver, the iconic South African tissue brand, would like to celebrate your wonderful back-to-school moments, and are giving away six Sorbet vouchers worth R1000 each on their Facebook page.
To enter to win a voucher, simply go to the Facebook page, and post your #ForgetMeNot picture of your child/children on their first day of school. You’re welcome to block out their badges/school names for privacy reasons, and don’t worry about the quality of your pictures (ie no studio portraits or professional photos are necessary) – the Twinsaver team is just after your good ‘ol pics.
The campaign ends on 24 January 2018, and all the ts and cs can be found on the Facebook page and here.
My son and me on the first day of school last year
Need some tips on how to manage the first day of school as best as you can? Here’s what I’ve picked up from the last few years:
- Remember that the first day of school could be harder for you than for your children. Take comfort that kids are generally resilient, and most of them will settle in well.
- Even if you’re stressed or anxious, try not to let your children see this, as your feelings could become theirs. As hard as it is, try be positive and cheerful, and rather cry when your kids can’t see. Try to celebrate the milestone and make the start of school something to be excited about – take lots of pictures and make a positive big deal of the day.
Chatting to your friends/family/partner is a great way to find comfort, and realise you’re likely not alone with your feelings and fears.
- Speak to your children about what they will likely expect on their first day. Ask them how they feel – listening, understanding and supporting them go a long way in making them feel more comfortable on the first day.
- If your child is starting school for the first time, or going to a new school, get them familiar with things as much as possible whether it’s getting them to practise wearing their uniform and shoes, or carrying their school case. Do a tour of the school beforehand so that your child is more familiar with the classrooms and setup.
- Speak to the teacher about anything that is relevant – whether it’s a health or emotional issue. Even though you probably filled in all the details in your registration forms, it’s still a good idea to communicate these again (rather wait for the third or fourth day when the teacher is a bit more settled).
- Label everything – your child might get stressed if they misplace something, and there’s no label to help them find it again.
- Look out for communication from the school, whether it’s on an app or in newsletter format. If you’re up to speed with what is needed and what’s happening at the school, your child will likely feel more settled.
- They’re the bane of many moms’ lives, but Whatsapp groups can be very useful so it’s worthwhile joining, or setting one up yourself from early on. My class and grade groups have helped me immensely – whether for homework solutions or school admin issues that I had forgotten. There’s nothing wrong with setting rules for the Whatsapp groups – eg no personal ads, no jokes.