Surviving the new term!

Back to school - CopyIts only mid September and it feels like it should be the half-term holidays already. Certainly the trees seem to agree with me, as they began shrugging off their leaves back in August, as if they were in a mighty rush to announce the onset of autumn.

So, the kids are back in school which means the roads are busy again, the lunchboxes with the sandwiches no one wants to eat are lined up on kitchen counters across the land, the cheque-books are rapidly diminishing as the after-school activity bills flood in and the boot is full of tatty shopping bags, hockey sticks, half-eaten apples, leaky drinks bottles and someone’s homework from three days ago.

Children are cranky and tired. They pile into the car at the school gate and immediately pick a fight with their sibling. They fall out of the car at home and pick a fight with their mother who has the audacity to suggest doing some homework/piano practice/eating the uneaten sandwiches before making something else/hanging up their coat/flushing the toilet and other outrageous tasks.

Parents who began the term with shiny ideas of being patient, kind and loving while always checking their children’s homework and giving helpful tips on science projects; have slunk into the living room by 3pm with a strong coffee and an ‘important thing to do on the computer…’

Ho hum. Will it improve? Yes it will. Stamina will improve and those pesky bright evenings are almost gone (how we miss them ourselves). Our children will soon realise that going to sleep earlier is a GOOD THING. The business of school and homework and sport and extra activities will eventually settle into a rhythm again and although there will still be shouting and uneaten ham sandwiches, there will be an end in sight. Did I mention half-term holidays?

by Diane Jackson

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