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By Pamela Agboga As we go scuttling about, getting ready for the New Year, I doff my hat to parents who are planning for not just themselves but for a child or more, and possibly a spouse as well.  Offices and schools will soon be resuming. From the Christmas holiday you should have stocked up on schoolbooks, socks, shoes, and maybe new uniforms, fresh hair accessories and back packs. But let’s talk about the first day of school resumption for the children. The child is returning to school, but it is a new term, after a rather long and engaging holiday, so when the children show a reluctance to resume, they need your encouragement, and not your criticism or a comparison with the neighbour’s kid who’s skipping off to school. What can you do? 1. Escort the child to school. Little kids need moral support, so even if they go to school by themselves, telling them the first day is so special that you want to personally take them to school can make them place more value on the first day of the term. DO NOT use this rare opportunity to bad- mouth them to their teachers when you meet them at school, that would be counterproductive. 2. Understand the reason for the child’s reluctance. They have just had a long holiday, and little children are all about the most recent thing that happened to them. So unless school is like a party for them, they will not remember much from last term because they have loaded up on groovy holiday memories. Ensure you keep reminding them of their school friends and coaching them during the holiday period, that way they will be more confident at resumption time. 3. Give a good orientation about the school. A child I know was fond of saying negative things about his school, it turned out that he was just parroting his parents private words at home. When school and teachers are painted to a five year old as not up to the parents standards, why would the child want to go there?  Tell your child the good things you remember from your own school, and if you didn’t go to school, they must have an uncle or aunt (not necessarily blood-related) who you can refer to as proof of why formal education is good. 4. Buy them something new. Every child needs one new item to show off every term; a water bottle, a bag, even a new pencil case, or a few new pencils. No matter that they will get missing in the first week of resumption, the important thing is that it got them to school with a bounce in their steps and something to tell everyone about. School is a big world for your little one, trying to remember how you felt when you were little can help you identify with your child and help him or her enjoy their miniature citadel of learning. Their first experience of formal education can greatly affect their tertiary performance.      

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This article was first published on 1st January 2013 and updated on May 6th, 2013 at 11:49 am


Chojare Pamela Agboga is a Legal Practitioner, Writer, Editor, Chartered Secretary and Administrator. She is currently working on her first novel 'Weekends are for Loving' as well as a devotional for women.

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