IT has been a hectic week, especially for parents with school-going children. After the lull brought on by the 1½ -month year-end break, schools are busy again.

Road users, who enjoyed a brief holiday respite, are now having to deal with the usual traffic snarls in the morning.

Parents too will feel the stress that comes with the beginning of yet another school term. If you’re one, there would have been a whole gamut of emotions running through you during the last few days.

Chief among them is separation anxiety. We’ve seen in the media how some overzealous parents overstay their welcome in schools.

Despite being repeatedly told to leave, many of them choose to ignore the teachers’ requests. Little do they realise that their actions are conveying a negative message to their children — that it’s okay not to listen to teachers!

HEED THE TEACHERS

The best way to deal with separation anxiety is to simply trust the teachers and schools to do their job.

Teachers who are responsible for Year One students are usually calm, positive and able to win over these young children.

They know better than to intimidate new students with stern and unreasonable actions. Instead, many of them want to convey the positive message that school is safe and learning is fun.

Parents must let go and provide the needed support, persuasion and encouragement to their children.

They need to allow their children to experience being independent without an anxious hovering parent nearby.

These fledgling young students will soon discover that school is indeed a fun place to be.

LESSONS ON TRAFFIC CONGESTIONS

The other “abnormal” or perhaps the “new normal” during the first few weeks is the severe traffic congestion, especially within the school’s proximity.

It makes you wonder: “Where did all these cars come from?”

To make matters worse, there are those inevitable “traffic offenders” who are oblivious to the plight of others and insist on blocking traffic for their own convenience.

I understand and even encourage parents who wish to personally drop off their children, check out their children’s classrooms and meet up with the teachers.

However, if they fail to follow basic traffic laws by parking indiscriminately, they will be posing an inconvenience to other parents who wish to do the same for their children.

What’s more, they fail to realise that they’re effectively teaching their children that it’s okay to be selfish and rude, so long as they get what they want.

There are many more bad examples of how the beginning of the school term can sometimes bring out the worst in parents.

I’m sure you have witnessed some annoying behaviour yourself. I just hope that we’re not part of the problem.

The beginning of the school term should not be a time where bad behaviour can tarnish the entire wonderful experience your children should be enjoying as they embark on a new journey.

The best way for our children to learn is by setting an example. As you send your child to school, remember that the learning doesn’t simply start once the school bell rings. It actually begins right at home, with you!

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