So the other day I was walking with my friend Michelle, and I asked whether her little girl was looking forward to starting school next year.
"No," said Michelle, "She doesn’t want to go."
"Really?" I was surprised. Michelle’s Elly is a confident kid with a big sister in year two.
"She says she’s not going to go."
"Oh no," I replied, "How are you handling that?"
"I’m just ignoring her," shrugged Michelle.
"Good plan," I agreed and we went on to talk about how her husband is being obstinate about upgrading the dishwasher.
I love Michelle. Her attitude is refreshing. So many parents I know would be stressing about a child’s aversion to starting school.
"Why?" they’d ask. And the questions and hand-wringing would escalate.
"Perhaps we should hold her back another year?"
"What does her kindy teacher think?"
"Has she had a negative experience?"
"I wonder if her big sister has said something to worry her?"
"Can you start taking her for little visits now – maybe see the classroom, meet the teacher?"
Michelle and her husband, however, are taking a more sensible approach, in my opinion, in just ignoring her.
Elly is four, after all – school is another five months away. To a four year old, five months is an eternity. There’s a birthday to get through, and Christmas. There’s just no point in stressing about school yet.