21 February 2011

The new kid at school

Whether it's the first day of high school or the start of Grade R, it can be like entering a whole new universe for kids.


A friend and I were discussing the Spud books, and it made me think of all the children in SA who will be entering high school for the first time this year. 

While many won't be mortified by being delivered to the front door of some prestigious private house of learning in an ancient, spluttering bright green Citroen, they're all going to experience the stress of being the youngest, and newest, kids on the block.

Making sure that they're properly prepared, enrolled, clothed and equipped relieves some of the strain, but parents need to brace themselves for an interesting week while their young teens find their precise fit in a new situation. 

If kids are shy and find it difficult to socialise, parents should be quietly aware that bullyingis a possibility.  It is also wise to obtain a schedule from the new school regarding extra-mural activities and sport fixtures as routines are likely to change.

And then there are all those who are seeing their tinies off to crèches and primary schools for the first time ever – there's no way to make that transition easier, other than to suggest that parentstake advice from the teachers who do this every year.  

A close friend spent an entire morning, along with several other heartbroken moms, watching her

18-month-old crying to go home.  The next day, advised by able care-givers, she delivered her daughter and left immediately to watch unseen from outside the centre: baby girl cried lustily for approximately five minutes and then got distracted by a toy.

When it comes to crèches and after-care centres, the real work is carefully choosing the correct facility for your child: taking a good look at the premises yourself, checking the meal plansand showing up for the odd unscheduled visit are important.  Here are some tips on choosing a good carer/facilityfor your children.

By the time parents have been through the business of covering and labeling endless books, the chances are that their kids will have already made friends and become accustomed to the new school.  Before they know it, parents will be facing their first teacher/parent conference, and then it will be their turn to experience stress.

More info:

Post any child health questions to the Paediatrician

Vaccines and vaccination

(Joanne Hart, Health24, January 2011)


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