The first year of high school for my daughter is now over. She was counting down the days and it makes me wonder, how did other children find their first year?
For us, it’s been a shock to the system. My girl loved school. Primary was an absolute breeze for her.
She’s always been a shy kid. Selective mutism was part of our life. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s basically a child choosing who they speak to/infornt of. Usually it’s adults who get the silent treatment.
I had spoken to her school and all of her teachers through the years as the same comment always came up…. “She needs to get involved more”. But being in a small school you could easily speak to her teacher and explain.
I knew moving up to a bigger school would have its issues. I mean, she had a fiver nicked from her bag on her first taster day! But I wasn’t expecting just how many issues we’d have.
She had 2 taster days at the end of year 6 and on the 2nd day myself and her best friends mum had to practically prise her out of the car. She hated it from the start.
On her first day she was at her dad’s and he had to call me because she was having a panic attack. I had to talk her in to going to school.
I’ve had to deal with that reaction so many times in the last year. It’s mentally draining!
She had issues with settling in. A nasty girl decided to pull on her backpack, she got creeped out by a boy that fancied her. Trivial things to us but not for her. She also hates Drama with a passion. For a child with social anxiety and who’s selective mutism still rears its head at times, this lesson is her worst nightmare.
I think going from such a small school where everyone got along done her no favours. She was used to being in the same class with all the same children so high school was a shock. There was no longer the security blanket of her best friends being in the same class.
She has made new friends and is enjoying the variety of lessons but I know she can’t wait for the next 4 years to be over. And neither can I! I am fed up with tears every morning, having to force her through the school gates.
I spoke to a lady who I went to school with who has a daughter of the same age. Her daughter had a harder time to start with as they’d moved to a different town. She was going to a high school where she had no friends and would have to start afresh.
I as a parent would be so nervous about this and so was my friend. Her daughter was always quiet and she thought she would struggle to make new friends. But, she seemed to settle in really well…. Maybe a little too well.
Bitchiness has already started. Girls fighting, blackmailing each other and the need to be like everyone else. I do remeber school being a bit like this but definitely not in year 7. My daughter says it’s the same in her school too though. Fights are a daily occurrence, and not just one. There was 5 in one lunch time.
Social Media seems to be a big issue with school children now too. I didn’t get my first mobile phone until Year 8 and all it could do was call and text. We didn’t have the issue of different apps and social media accounts back then.
Online bullying is far more of an issue and with apps like ASKfm and YOLO it’s getting worse. These are anonymous messaging apps where you can receive questions or comments from followers. It’s not so bad when you receive comments like “You’re pretty” but it’s a different story when it’s something along the lines of “Go kill yourself”.
Everyone went a little crazy over Momo this year. It turned out to be an Internet hoax but I think we need to look closer to home. I don’t worry about strangers influencing my children, more their peers.
My friend has watched her daughter transform in the first year of high school. She’s gone from a quiet to confident, which wouldn’t seem to bad. But now she has no interest in actually learning. She’s more concerned about having fun with her friends.
Boys seem to have to find their place more so than girls. They are literally fighting to be top dog. Most lesson interruptions seem to be caused by them trying to be the “class clown”. I couldn’t find any boy mum’s to speak to though so I am just going from what my daughter has said.
The first year of high school is a minefield of problems. From the handful of people I’ve spoken to, it’s been hellish. But I know there are kids who have settled in fantastically. My daughter’s friend actually prefers high school to primary.
Every child has a different experience and I really don’t want to scare parents. Just be ready for what the first year of high school could bring! It sounds more like the scene from Mean Girls where the mall turns in to the watering hole!
If you’re about to go through it then I wish you the best of luck, and your child. I hope you have a better experience than some of us have had.
Make the most of the holidays!