MUM SAYS Surviving my Primary 1 son’s first month

Entering a new school is never easy for both kids and their parents. Here’s one mum’s story…


“All this while, as a mum of three boys aged 6 months, 6 years, and 7 years, I thought getting my sons into good daycare and preschools was the biggest challenge I would face. Little did I know what I was getting myself into when my eldest, Aaden, started Primary 1 this month.

As Christians, my husband Steven and I, were quite adamant about getting Aaden into a mission school. So, when he was offered a place at St Gabriel’s Primary School, we snapped it up immediately, even though it’s in the north-east and a fair distance from where we live in Woodlands.

Allowing Aaden to take the school bus would mean he’d be one of the first students to be picked up ― probably at an ungodly hour. So, we decided to let him stay at his maternal grandparents’ place in Thomson and have my dad send him to school every morning, since it’s nearer.

When we told Aaden our plan, he was hesitant. While he’s used to staying with grandma and grandpa during the weekends with his brothers, he’s never stayed there alone for a long duration. While we would have preferred to have seen an excited Aaden, Steven and I understood it was too much information for him to digest and gave him some time to get used to the idea.

“I was also feeling emotional knowing that my little boy is now a big boy and is moving onto a new phase in his life.”

However, Aaden showed a lot of excitement leading up to his first day in Primary school. He was eager to pick out his school bag, shoes, uniform and books. However, the day before school was going to start, he got all quiet, which was unusual for him as he’s usually the complete opposite. We could sense that he wasn’t looking forward to the “big day”.

I wasn’t doing any much better myself. I kept waking up throughout the night, feeling nervous. It felt like I was starting school or a new job. I was also feeling emotional knowing that my little boy is now a big boy and is moving on to a new phase in his life.

The next morning, Aaden woke up pretty stoked to go to school. Although we were allowed to report a little later at 8am just for that day, he kept hurrying us to get to school on time, which according to him is 7.25am!

Once there, Aaden looked happy to have found a classmate he made friends with during orientation a few months back. He was then ushered into class by his teachers and I didn’t get to speak to him again until the end of school.

I decided to take three days off work to help ease Aaden (and myself!) into the new routine. The school had prepared a series of talks and activities for parents for the first two days. Even as I participated in the activities, all I could think about was how Aaden was in class. 

When I picked him up after school, Aaden had again retreated into his quiet corner, refusing to share anything about his day. He was also unusually sticky and very tired, although that was to be expected.

My firstborn was still his stoic self on Day Two, but something unusual happened that evening. After dinner, he started crying suddenly and threw up twice. Feeling worried, I asked him what was wrong, he replied that he was scared and felt overwhelmed, but he didn’t offer any more details. The next day, he said he wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to go to school.

How did Joanna handle this delicate situation? Read on…