Gulp. Your child’s first school trip. They’re leaving you! How do you handle it? Instead of thinking about all the potential ‘off-duty’ time, you’re probably wondering how on earth you’re going to survive without them.
It’s always going to be hard, and you’ll probably need plenty of tissues to hand when you wave them off. Here are some tips to help you through.
Accept that you are going to miss them terribly
Don’t feel bad for missing them! It’s completely natural to miss your child and worry about them when they leave your side for an extended period of time. You’re a mum, worrying is second nature. Make sure you talk about your feelings with your partner or your other mum friends, they’re probably feeling the exact same way. Please don’t feel like you’re being silly, or your feelings don’t matter.
You’ll probably feel like running after the coach in a dramatic fashion as it heads off. Take a deep breath. They will be okay! It’s important that your child feels like you support them leaving you, otherwise they’ll feel guilty. And you want them to have a good time. There will be plenty of moments in the future when you need to let your child spread their wings – yes, it’s going to be hard to let them go but consider this good practice!
Keep in contact with your child
You will, of course, want to be in close contact with your child while they’re away. It’s easier than ever to keep in touch with your child if they own a mobile phone. Very different to school trips in the past!
What if your child doesn’t have their own mobile, due to fears over safety and the internet? You could still provide them with a phone while they’re away that doesn’t connect to the internet, and only takes calls and messages.
Make sure you have contact details for the organisers of the trip
A simple tip but could easily be overlooked in all the excitement leading up to the trip. It is a good idea to have the contact details of the teachers who are looking after your child on the school trip stored on your phone – this will give you peace of mind, even if you don’t end up needing to use them.
If you feel as though you need even more reassurance, you could try school trip tracking technology, ‘Locate My Trip’, provided by NST Group. Before the trip, you receive a handset that allows you to locate the destination of the school group while they are away.
Remember, it’s good for your child
The most important thing to remember, however you’re feeling while they’re away, is that this first school trip is good for your child! It’s exciting, they’re getting their first taste of independence, and they’ll look back on the experience with some amazing memories.
So when you’re having a sad moment, please try to remember that being away from home is a positive experience for them, and a rite of passage.
Your child’s first trip away is going to be a testing time for all. You may not feel very ‘off-duty‘ while they’re away. The key is try and relax, be prepared, and make the whole experience as positive as you can for all involved.
Disclaimer: This is a contributed post.