Back to school, for us, like most, has now happened. Mini started getting worked up about 3-4 days before, as I started to pull together all the various bits of new school kit ready for naming etc.
My content, playful, mostly happy child of the Summer has mutated into a grumpy, angry, defiant boy again. The boy who couldn't stop talking about anything and everything has become tight-lipped about everything that occurs between 9am and 3pm.
Over the holidays, my little man gradually got better and better about going to bed; we heard less of the nightmares, less of the remonstrations about bedtime and fewer excuses to stay up. Now? Back to bedtime struggles, and not enough sleep.
Everything we do has become a battle again.
I know the phrase 'don't sweat the small stuff'. At times this becomes our mantra. So we're letting some battles go and we've introduced the use of consequences again. After posting for help on The Adoption Social, we've taken Sally Donovan's advice and each time Mini hurts either myself, the NC or Dollop he has to do a chore/household job...with us, and we provide a narrative as we do it together. Knowing that there is a consequence doesn't seem to prevent Mini hitting out (yet) but it is isolating the incident and we're moving on quicker than before, plus it's helping to get some of those jobs done!
I won't lie and say the summer holidays were perfect...we had our moments. And as usual, after the really good days, we had the bad ones. But for the most part it was much better than previous years and we had some really nice times and hopefully made some great memories. This though makes it all the more clear that it's during term time that Mini's difficulties come to the fore. Is it being at school? Is it being somewhere other than home?
Without a doubt, this school is not right for Mini, and this transition hasn't been well-managed - elements of it yes, but others no. And I'm afraid a clash of personalities with the Headteacher hasn't helped. I can't carry on fighting this woman who is more interested in raising attendance than looking after the pupils who ARE at school, who is more interested in improving academic skills instead of caring about emotional well-being. And whilst I know that school is about academic learning, surely if the children feel cared about, important, special, safe and listened to, then their ability to learn will be better too? Ah, but what do I know, I'm just a paranoid mum!
It's only been two days so far, and I'm dreading (let alone how Mini's feeling) the rest of the year. I'm not letting on to Mini of course. And with all this awful feeling I'm also caring for Dollop who has shingles! Yes, very rare for a child to get, and coincided nicely with the start of pre-school and the end of the broken leg saga!
How has back to school been for your children?