Got a little one who is about to start big school? Who is more terrified, you or your child? It’s not a competition, I’m sure there is anxiety for both of you!
If your child has severe hypermobility, they may be worrying about the following:
– will I get hurt?
– who will look after me if mum/dad/carer isn’t there?
– what if I can’t keep up with the other kids?
– what if I hate school?
– what do I do if I need to have sleep?
As a parent, you might be thinking as answers to the above questions:
– I don’t want them to get hurt!!!!
– no one is going to care for my child like I do!!!!
– my child probably isn’t going to keep up, how’s that going to make them feel? How else can we boost their self-esteem?
– most kids hate school at some point…. but having hypermobility is going to make it a little more challenging
– do we have a plan in place for sleeping/resting etc?
As a parent, you may also have other anxieties:
– what is the school’s procedure if my child gets hurt?
– what is our preferred action plan for such a situation?
– what do we do if they are just too tired to go to school every day?
– how are we going to manage this?
– how will we distinguish whether our child isn’t liking school or if they really are sick/sore/tired?
– how are we going to explain this to the teacher?
– will they be watched closely enough in the playground?
– do we need to tell the other children in the class about our child’s hypermobility to keep them safe?
– and a whole bunch of other very normal questions to be asking.
The first few weeks of school are usually pretty hard for kids with hypermobility, especially if fatigue is a big factor in their condition. Managing the fatigue can actually be the most crucial part of the process and needs some careful consideration. You can read more information about this in the back of My Bendy Body, but you may need to come up with a plan with the school to introduce your child to school using half days, half weeks, alternate days, rest times…. it will depend on your child, and the school and is best decided in consultation with your treating team.
One thing I do know is that come Friday, you’re going to have one tired little button on your hands…. so I wouldn’t be planning anything for the weekends for the first few weeks.
More tips for coping with Term 1 in the next post “Surviving Term 1 of School”!