This week saw me wave goodbye to our ridiculously lively, wild and well mannered firstborn to a fun filled week of adventures with his school friends. For those who aren’t familiar with ‘PGL’ kids holidays it’s also known as ‘parents get lost!’
I’m not a ‘wrap your child up in cotton wool’ kind of a parent, and I’m all for letting them be little and not rushing their childhood away, whilst having fun filled adventures and taking part in extra curriculum opportunities that are character building and provide long lasting childhood memories. That said, as I walked away from waving him goodbye I started to reflect on his 11 years and how his primary school years have just flown by. Last week saw Finlay and I attend his secondary school open evening and I was so impressed by his confidence and excitement about this next step. I was far more worried than he was, probably as I can remember my first day nerves and what small fish year 7 are in a big pond!
My mummy fears for this transition are that he’s really not streetwise yet and so some things will be a real eye opener for him. Having to travel by bus everyday and the new challenges this holds such as bus passes, timings etc. Then there is the inevitable leap of teenage attitude, the shift to being with peers rather than his family, not being at the school gates to keep the occasional eye on him.
I do know there are some positives that I’m trying to focus on, he’s ready for it both academically and emotionally. He is at a small village school and very fortunate to have a small class, however his closest friends have moved away so he now needs to widen his social circle. He will be around some of his local scout group at secondary school so he already knows people across year groups. He will embrace more science, arts, sports and language opportunities as he thrives on new challenges. His last primary report confirmed to us that he is enthusiastic in pretty much everything he does and so I hope that this will continue through his teens too. His teacher says he’s ready for this next step, maybe just needing a bit more maturity as with most boys, and so all that remains for his readiness is getting him kitted out for September and myself and Dougie to be emotionally ready to see our little boy enbark on the next stage which will result in Finlay emerging from secondary school a young man.
To help me get my head around this exciting new chapter in his life I have attended the open evenings at his new school and I have been reading online material about secondary school readiness. Mumsnet in particular have helpful guides for this transition for both parents and children on matters such as uniform, homework, dealing with children’s feelings, how to help keep them organised with new timetables and the expectations put on them, and coping with new school journeys.
I have found reading these guides have just helped me prepare myself mentally to then be ready to help prepare him for his next big step in life.