Column: The happiest days of their lives ...

editorial image

Well how many parents gave a huge sigh of relief this week as their offspring headed back to school?

When my two were young I used to be full of enthusiasm at the start of the holidays for all the things I planned to do with them – places to go, people to see, but give it a couple of weeks, particularly if it was wet and I was counting down the days to when they would be back in the classroom.

I’m not sure if you are supposed to say that and no doubt, teachers everywhere will be going “oh it’s okay for us to have them for the rest of the year” but children really need structure.

And while a break from the routine is great, there is nothing like knowing that Monday to Friday they are heading off to school.

Most of them are quite happy to go back and glad to see familiar surroundings and their little friends.

Particularly nowadays because when I went to school and even when my children did, their classmates tended to be the people living in neighbouring streets, but with placing requests it’s all so different nowadays.

Youngsters can go to a school that is nowhere near their home.

I know when Jack was about to start primary school Emma and her husband thought about sending them to the school near his parents as they were doing some of the after-school care.

But in the end, with their support and willingness to pick Jack up, they decided they would rather he went to the school in their catchment area and be with children he had been to nursery with.

It’s such a tricky choice and I know that others will argue that children are very resilient and so many of them go to nursery almost from birth that they are used to making new friends. However, I suppose it’s all up to the parents to decide what they believe is best.

I remember when Jack did start school we were all keen to hear about his first day.

“Did you enjoy it?”

“Have you made new friends?”

“What’s your teacher like?”

All these questions were fired off at the little soul by his loving family all eager to know how he had got on.

“My teacher is nice but she’s very old,” he said earnestly.

At which point Emma spluttered and said: “She’s the little sister of someone I went to school with. How old does he think I am?”

“And what about me,” I replied, “He must think I am ancient!”