When I was young, I remember resumption day was always such a big deal – especially when it happened to be the beginning of a new session. There was the new bag, the new shoes, the new water bottle, the new class, the new teacher, the new ‘everything’. For a child, having so many new stuffs all at once is always very exciting.
However note that depending on the child, this excitement is sometimes short lived. As in when the D-Day finally comes, some children may ‘freeze’ when actually faced with the new changes waiting for them at school.  To better explain, I’ll share the real experiences of three kids I know. Let’s call them ‘Tee’, ‘Kay’ and ‘Laah’.

Tee was no newcomer to the school environment. Actually she had started crèche as early as 6 months, advanced to playgroup and was now due to resume at nursery. She had always loved school and had been super excited picking out all her new stuffs for the new session. In fact for the last few days, all she spoke about was ‘school’. However when resumption day finally came, she was in tears when she realized that she wasn’t going back to her old classroom.
True, her mom had earlier explained to her that this session she would be moving on to a new class meant for older, bigger children. But obviously, all that prep talk wasn’t enough to hold back the tears when she came face-to-face with her new reality. In fact she spent the better half of the morning crying and asking for her former teacher. Luckily for her she had a nice, new teacher who took her to her old class to further explain that everybody had moved and since she is now older, she also has to move as well.

Now, let’s talk about Kay. She started crèche at 16 months and one year later, she was set to resume at playgroup. This was going to be her first time in a uniform and in an actual classroom with assigned tables and chairs.
Ideally, one would have expected her to be a bit apprehensive about going into this all-new environment especially since a number of her classmates were already reeling in tears. However, ‘lil’ miss Kay appeared totally unfazed by the changes around her. In fact, when she realized that her mom was spending way too much time trying to settle her in, she burst out – ‘Mommy, you can go now’.
Seriously, I laughed out loud when Kay’s mom told me her story.

Laah’s story was quite hilarious. Like Kay, though she had started off at crèche, this was her first time in a uniform. However she on the hand did not want to go to school. She was frightened but her mom was making little attempt to ‘pet’ her because she believed that this was a phase most children pass through and eventually get over.                            Now on the day after resumption, when they got to school, Laah’s mom stopped to talk to another mom when she suddenly noticed that Laah was no longer by her side. Confused, she hurriedly looked around only to spot Laah running towards the school gate, trying to escape from her compulsory ‘classroom sentence’. So Laah’s mom had to go after her, catching up with her just before she got to the gate.

So where am I going with all this? At the end of the day I guess we can’t take away the fact that children are different. How one reacts in a situation may be different from how another will react in that very same situation. It is therefore important we understand what kind of child we have and make that deliberate effort to render the right kind of support they need to get past each phase and successfully cruise through life.

So dear moms, how was your own child’s first day back at school? Or perhaps it was his/her very first day at school, ever. Was it all smiles or were there a few tears to wipe away? Whatever the case, I do hope you were not too much in a hurry when dropping them off. I hope you took out a moment or two to give them that reassuring hug, kiss and smile before rushing off to start your own day.

Image courtesy: huffingtonpost.com,