It’s back to school next week. Dreading it or can’t bloomin wait? For parents new to this game, there’s stuff you should know. And after 15 years of being a school parent, our social media manager has some tips. There’s some things that are worth worrying about, but these aren’t them:
1.There might be a bit of weeping and wailing at the school gates. But it will mostly be for show. And mostly it will be you doing the weeping and wailing.
2. School uniform ironing. There’s a reason school uniforms are made of synthetic fibres. Just don’t!
“I spent years ironing bloody polo shirts. Years of my life when I could have been, I don’t know, sitting down? Why?”
3.Whether they’re 5 or 15, they probably don’t want to tell you about their day. When they say they had pasta for lunch every day, they probably didn’t. They just can’t be arsed telling you what they did have. When they say they did nothing all day, they definitely didn’t. They just don’t want the hassle of relating it all. If you really must know, find indirect ways of asking.
“If you’d gone by what he told me, they had cheese sandwiches for lunch every day for 3 years. But if you asked him what his favourite school lunch was, it turned out there was loads of variety.”
“Ask her what her day is like and she’ll shrug and walk off. Ask her what her least favourite lesson is, and she’ll wax lyrical.”
4. That list the school issues you with? Things your child absolutely has to have? They absolutely don’t need all of it. And they definitely don’t need all of it on the first day. Unless you have your child enrolled at a very strict school, they don’t need their uniforms bought through the school. They don’t need logo’d socks. No-one needs logoed socks. The PE teacher will just be glad they turned up in shorts and tshirt.
“My son got through the last two years of high school with a biro in one pocket and a calculator in the other, and some semblance of shorts and tshirt for PE.”
5.Five year olds lose things. You send them out in the world, suddenly having to take responsibility for their stuff. And they can’t do it. Most of them still can’t do it at 18. Some can’t do it at 30! It’s a pain. Especially when it’s a blazer or trainers or similarly expensive gear. But it’s honestly not just your kid. Roll with it.