So, on Tuesday I had child 4's entrance into school planning meeting. This meeting has been hanging over me the past couple of weeks. I've been really worried that the staff would think that I was some kind of loonie tune mother and that I would do more harm than good for my sons start into school.
So I wore smart clothes, had my folder full of information about attachment along with research examples to back my request and held my head high when I walked in.
The meeting was with child 4's teacher to be, the SenCo and two members of staff from his preschool, his key worker and the assistant manager.
Well, what a fantastic meeting. Everyone was so very supportive, the school have already put in place plans to help child 4 settle in. They are creating a sensory corner in the foundation stage classroom and in a small fenced off part of the playground for during play time and lunch times. Perfect for when child 4 is struggling with his emotions. They are going to ensure that he has a constant staff member to link with and build an attachment too.
His pre-school key worker is going to take child 4 around the school over the next couple of weeks to create a book of where his classroom is, where he will eat his lunch, where the toilets are and so on. All the children who will be moving to school in September will have the opportunity to have lunch in the school hall as a practice before they start. This will be huge as currently there are 16 children who have lunch together, in school it will be 75 children. The plan is for them to have their own table, near the door for a quick escape if it's too noisy and too chaotic.
Everyone listened to my concerns and the pre schools advice in what behaviours to look out for and how best to manage them. No thinking chairs or reward charts. Distraction, frequent praise, instant and appropriate natural consequences if anything goes wrong with a heavy dose of oxytocin releasing support. A real understanding that consequences can be given, whilst in the arms of the nearest care giver.
Obviously most of my concerns and therefore discussion was around misbehaviour, anger and the negative stuff, the pre school talked about so much positive stuff it made me feel proud of my little man.
With all this support and obvious love for him, he will have the best start in school I think I could have dreamed of.
I no longer worry or wake in the night worrying about how the school will manage his "red" moments, or that they will undo the good work we have been doing. The school will help him avoid those "red" moments and when they do happen they will help him calm down, help him make amends and help him learn to manage himself in the future. What more can I ask?
Now I can relax and we can just enjoy our last few weeks of this special time before our lives change and we turn the page on a new exciting chapter in our story.