Wednesday 26 October 2016

Back to school: Separation anxiety is a big worry for mums of young children

Laura Haugh and son James (5)
Laura Haugh and son James (5)

Laura Haugh of online parenting community www.mummypages.ie says parents can do a great deal to help prepare their children in the coming weeks:

"MummyPages would advise first-time mums to talk to their child about 'big school' in the weeks leading up to the end of August," she says.

"It is also a good idea to slowly start adjusting your child to a school routine, meaning earlier bedtimes and arriving at the kitchen fully clothed before eating breakfast at the table.

"According to our feedback, we believe it is very important for mums to build up a rapport with their child's teacher.

"There is no denying the powerful impact teamwork between parents and teachers can have.

"It can help identify any emerging learning difficulties or development issues at an early stage, allowing for intervention that could save both child and parent undue stress in the future."

The 'Mum in Residence' says many mothers have the same worries at this time of year and while some find it difficult to adjust to a new family routine, others are glad to have a few hours to themselves.

"The emotions mums go through leading up to the first day of school are quite mixed," she says.

"After an exhausting, action-packed summer, some parents are in need of the break (to relax or get work done during school hours), while others face the daunting task of preparing their child for their first day in 'big school' - and for these mums it can be quite a worrying time.

"Making the transition from Montessori or creche to primary school can be challengng, and the feedback from our community highlights mums' concerns about how their families will adapt to a new school routine of early mornings, longer days and an overall busier schedule.

"Separation anxiety is also a big worry for mums of young children, while making friends and bullying are concerns all parents face.

"Working mums have the extra stress of finding suitable after-school care services on top of all of their other worries."

This month www.mummypages.ie, Ireland's largest community of mums, launched a comprehensive 'Back-to-School' report.

The research addresses key areas, such as cost of education and after-school activities, as well as the use of technology and mental health education in schools. MummyPages research covers nine key areas:

1. Cost of education in Ireland

2. School curriculum

3. Mental health education

4. Technology in Irish schools

5. Parental involvement in school

6. Parent/teacher relations

7. School gate - mum's sorrow or sanity

8. After-school activities

9. After-school care

For more information, visit www.mummypages.ie

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