On the second day of school, I heard what every Mom hates to hear from their eight-year-old: “I don’t want to go to school.”
I couldn't believe it! He had only been in school one day and I was already hearing whines of him being bored, not liking his teacher and not having friends. I was petrified that if I mishandled this one tiny bit, I could face an entire year of morning tears, fights, and drama.
I am sure every child has their times where they really do not want to go to school.
As my son sat on my bedroom floor crying, this was not the time to bust out “psycho Mom” and scream at him to get dressed. I had two smaller children I was trying to feed, get dressed, and have lunches packed. I did not have an hour to sit down and figure out the issues. So, I did what every panicky Mother does, and I called my Mother. She was able to coax out of him the legitimate reasons why he was upset and how we could work around them.
I knew at some age, peers would play a huge role in school, and this was that time. None of my son’s friends from his class last year are in his class this year. This left him upset, as he barely knew anyone in his class. I reassured him that he would make new friends, and be able to see his old friends at lunch, recess and after school.
I think his teacher had a rough first day (the power was out all morning), and might have been a tad grouchy. My son exclaimed she was the meanest teacher ever and it was going to be a horrible year. We talked about how nervous she must have been having a room full of new students. I also explained everyone has off days and it is important not to judge anyone based on one time, especially in such a stressful, nerve-wracking time as the first day of school. Then, he berated me a little bit for packing him a small lunch and that he starved all day. I can take the blame for this; I packed three equal size lunches with my smaller kids in mind, and forgot to pack a snack. He probably was hungry all day. Luckily, we do not starve in a day from hunger and I was quickly able to remedy this the next day.
I think every adult has an “off” day, where they do not want to go to work, and takes the occasional sick day to ease burnout. Kids are the same way. Toward the end of the year, I expect to hear the complaints and whining. The second day, week, or even month though probably signals a problem. I don’t want to fight my kids every morning to get them to school, so it’s easier to confront the problems and try to solve them.