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When Maria’s son was born, she
was surprised that people advised
her to look for a suitable school
from the day he was born. She tells,
“I initially found it funny. But as
my son Zack became older, I began
to get worried about the schooling
process. When we initiated the
interview process, I was so nervous
and jittery that poor Zack became
irritated. He managed to get
into the school we wanted but in
retrospect I wonder if so much
stress and tension was necessary
for such a small child?”
The biggest anxiety for parents,
tells Carmen Benton, Parenting
Educator, at LifeWorks Personal
Development Training Centre,
mostly is selecting a school they
believe best for their child and then
the fear of not being able to get into
it due to a long wait list and tough
selection process. “Essentially
the only option for parents due
to the system in Dubai is to place
their child on the wait list for
several schools and go through
the application and assessment for
each,” she says and as such, there
is no way to make the anxiety of
getting into a school in Dubai easy.
The First Day of School
Stressors
Children being out of routine
during the holiday period are a
big stressor and for this, Benton
advises that you re-establish a good
routine for your children at least a
week before school is back. “Make
sure the times they go to bed, get
up and eat match those of school,”
she says and very importantly, get
back into reading every night.
Another stressor is children being
nervous about who will be in
their class. In this regards, Benton
suggests to try and set up play
dates with school friends or at least
play dates with friends from other
schools of a similar age.
The Pressure is on
Today the expectations placed on
children can be too high, points
out Benton. “Formal instruction
starts too early for some children
and the pressure becomes too great
for those not ready,” she says and
classrooms, especially in the early
years, for those under age seven,
have too many children, at a time
when children need one-on-one
support from trained and qualified
teachers. Children still have a
high need to learn in an active
way and school can have children
learning in a passive way, sitting
at a desk doing drill written work
for too long. These issues, she says,
when combined, can create a lack
of love for school and learning for
many children.
13
Oct/Nov 2014