Protecting Our Children From Sadness


It’s funny the things you get emotional about, as a parent. I’ve been watching friends (and other bloggers) post updates on Facebook about their child leaving nursery, or finishing reception year, and the emotions they’re feeling.

Some of them are happy, some of them are relieved it’s the summer holidays, some of them seem sad… all of them mention having a little cry.

It’s something that I haven’t experienced yet – my daughter is three and has another year of pre-school before ‘big school’ – but this morning, I found myself feeling emotional as I dropped her off for the day. For a few months now, we’ve been preparing her for the fact that, come September, lots of her pre-school friends will be going to school. We’ve talked about it a lot, and chatted about what school might be like, and which school she might go to a year later.

She seems totally cool with it all. Last night, she came home from pre-school with a red love heart that had her name and a friend’s name on it. “What’s this, honey?” I asked her. “Oh, it was her last day at pre-school today,” she replied, “and she gave me this.”

My eyes welled up with tears. But I smiled and said “That’s so kind of her!”

Then, this morning, there was a thank you card left by my daughter’s peg – a mum thanking us for a birthday present. At the end, it said ‘hope you stay in touch’ and it set me off again. I feel incredibly sad that so many children that my daughter has become close to – kids she has played with, day in day out, for a few years, will be heading out of her life. And I hadn’t prepared myself – or my daughter – for it happening now. In July. I thought it would happen in September, but of course any parents with an older school age child will likely take the younger sibling out of pre-school now, won’t they? So it’s taken me by surprise, this week.

Again, she seems totally cool with it all. Which is great. But it’s making me reflect on life and how sad it is when people come and go, and you miss them. I want to protect my daughter from that sadness – and I want to protect her from any sadness. I’m worried about any future fall outs with friends, her feeling hurt when friends ‘leave her out’ and I’m worried about her being bullied.

Of course, it’s natural to want to protect your child from hurt, and I know that she has to experience it, because it’s a part of life. She has to learn how to cope with feeling sad. But it makes me feel so sad…




  1. July 25, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    The end of every school year makes me feel sad, even when it isn’t a ‘significant’ one. I think it’s that whole passing of time thing that gets me and once they start school, time seems to go in double speed! My children just take it in their stride of course *sniff*

    • Alison Perry
      July 25, 2014 / 2:21 pm

      I’ve never been one of those mums – I’ve always relished my daughter getting older. But now I am feeling glimmers of that… I’m thinking ahead to a year away, when she goes to school and a tight knot forms in my stomach.

  2. July 25, 2014 / 10:57 pm

    Oh crikey yes, it’s that overwhelming need to want to protect our little bear from everything that leaves me in a blubbering mess. The last morning of pre-school after I dropped her off, I just let it all out. I sobbed. Really sobbed. Because I didn’t see the point of keeping all that emotion inside. I held it all together at pick-up time… Until one of the staff handed me a present for her which was one from one of her friends. Oh my days, SUCH an emotional time. I’m shattered!!

  3. July 26, 2014 / 7:51 am

    I was utterly unprepared by how emotional my daughter’s last day of preschool was going to be. The kids seem to take it in their stride but the adults, parents and teachers included, were a mess. Now I’m not really an emotional person but I was suddenly overwhelmed by the occasion. Lili is the only one from her preschool class going to her new school, so she was saying goodbye to everyone. I don’t think that she really understood but of course I did, so that started me off. Then her key teacher got a little emotional saying goodbye (this was her first year at the preschool), which got me going again – then there was the goodbye card with A POEM from said teacher. At this point I was the mess I mentioned earlier. You can see the poem on my blog, I literally get teary every time I read it!!

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