It is hard for any parent to see their baby go off on their first school trip. Around about year 6 is the time for mums and dads across the country to be brave, bite their tongue and wave their kids off.
The first time your child is away from home it can be extremely hard to let them go. But, safe in the hands of their school teachers, you know that once they step foot on that coach they will be busy having the time of their lives. It can be an exciting and worrying time for any parent. But packing them off with a few home comforts, treats and tips will leave you in a much better place.
The Scent of Home
Make sure you send them off with their favourite teddy, book or even pillow. Taking their pillow from their home bed will help them to settle into their accommodation or even tent. It may be the case that once they are with their friends, and having a great time, they will quickly forget that they ever needed it. But pack it all the same.
Don’t forget to equip them with any medicine that they need to take. From travel sickness tablets to inhalers, the teachers will need to be informed of exactly what your child needs to take and when. Make sure you remind your child too. That way, if a teacher overlooks it, you know they will take charge. Remember, that the teachers usually have around 30+ children to look after and not just your child!
Dealing with Homesickness
If you think that your child may struggle a little with homesickness then make sure you have a chat with them beforehand. You can pack little notes and reminders in their bag and you may want to let their teacher know that they are feeling a little unsettled. Let them know that home and family will be waiting for them the moment they get back.
Adding a little note here and there will help to make your child feel less far away. Make sure you also label their clothes and personal belongings with their name. With so many children with the same pair of shorts and t-shirts they can easily get lost. You may even want a personalised beach towel, just to ensure that your child doesn’t lose theirs on the first day!
Do your best to encourage your child to relax and have fun. Once they have mastered being away from home, and realised that they have enjoyed it, you will find it a lot easier to let go. The right preparation, plenty of health and safety advice, and one or two little treats from home, and they will have the time of their life. Tell them how proud you are that they are embarking on their new adventure and that they too will feel proud once they have done it.
These are the things that childhood memories are made of.
By Rob Rudd
Rob Rudd has an 11 year old daughter who has just recently completed her first residential school field trip, so he feels qualified to post his thoughts. He is a keen writer and regularly contributes to several parenting websites.