So when I found a memo from the school crumpled up on the bottom of Alexandra's book bag advertising a parenting class aimed at parents with reception children dealing with transition, I signed up.
And I'm VERY glad I did.
It had been ages since I'd read anything on emotional support for five-year-olds. When my first was born, I devoured every available book. After having three children in quick succession, the parenting books are replaced by Dr. Seuss (the former are in a box in the attic gathering dust.)
The evening started off well -- I left the children at home with dad! I was greeted with wine and snacks, and for a minute I thought I was at the wrong event.
Elaine Hughes, a primary school teacher, led the course. I immediately felt at ease with her, and she was able to keep the audience engaged and sharing experiences throughout the whole evening.
The class was a great reminder that as parents we hold the key to our children's success. We can instill confidence and give them the self-esteem they need to get them through life as teenagers and adults. It's so critical to recognise that now, and not be bogged down in day-to-day child care duties.
Here are some things you probably already know, but it's great to be reminded (especially with a glass of wine in your hand):
- Strong willed children are more difficult to manage and take more of your time, and you can overlook the needs of "easy" children
- It's easy to damage a child's self-esteem (does any of this sound familiar: "You naughty boy! Put that down! Don't you dare speak to me like that!)
- It's also easy to build it up (Well done! You're clever! I like it when you do that!)
- Give choices and consequences
- Children love routines
- Don't give in when you are too tired, feel guilty, or want them to like you
- Be consistent
- Stay calm
- Say sorry
I'd like to thank the school and a scheme called Extended Schools for funding the evening.
I highly recommend the course, if a note comes through in your child's book bag -- SIGN UP.
And I'm not taking the mickey when I say it's worth every penny!
This post was written by Susanna, a London Mums Blog founding contributor. You can read more at her blog, A Modern Mother.
Photo credit: Polka Dot Dress