Growing up. My child is going to secondary school. Am I ready?

Growing up. My child is going to secondary school. Am I ready?

It feels just like yesterday when  I met Wonder Boy my adopted child. He was dressed in his best shirt and tie,  popping with excitement because he was meeting his new Mummy and Daddy. Fast forward five years, and this September he’s going secondary school. He’s excited. I’m terrified. My child is going to secondary school. Am I ready?

My adopted child is going to secondary school. Am I ready?

No more Olympic sprints to the school gates

When I was back in the UK, I swear I could give Usain Bolt a run for his money to get my kids through the school gates by 8.55am.

My mantra, on repeat, at increasing volume to screeching banshee level was: we’re running late, we’re going to be late, we’re late, we’re really late. WE. ARE. LATE!!!  RUN!!!!!!

I’m going to miss that.

He’ll be organising his own social life

I can’t get my head around this.

My kid is going to be sorting out his own social life. He’s already making plans to meet his bestie in the park after school. Oh really. Finish your homework first!


How will I get him to do his homework when he’s too busy sorting out his social life? I’m not looking forward to the negotiations and arguments.

Apparently, they get a tonne of homework at secondary school.

The kids get a deluge of homework in France. We spend evenings and weekends memorising poetry, declining verbs, learning vocab, spellings, unravelling maths problems (in French – with a dictionary to hand). At least we are used to that.

We’re having the phone talk

The bartering has started. Of course, he wants a top of the range smartphone for that added cool as he walks to school. No way does he want a “loser phone”.

Me: “You need something that won’t get nicked.” Because no-one wants a brick! What’s wrong with that?

Wonder Boy: “But mum, if you get me an i-phone, you can track my phone and then you’ll know where I am.”

OK, good point.

Talks are ongoing. Maybe a UN resolution will be required.

Let loose on social media

What is really scaring me is letting my kid loose out in the social media world. He will want his own social media accounts to chat and snap with friends.

  • He’ll start making digital friends. How will I keep track of his friends that are really just a piece of code?
  • Just because it was on YouTube it doesn’t make it real or true. He is growing up unquestioningly in a world of fake news.
  • OK. I’ve heard about Snap Chat, Periscope, Vines. But what is Twitch, Steam, Kik?

 My child will be independent

He’s going have his first taste freedom. And how good will that be!

He can’t wait to set foot out of the front door and make his own way to school. I worry because this kid can’t find his way to the bathroom in our apartment, let alone walk to school and navigate his way through thousands of kids.

For me, this is a lesson in learning to let go.

My little boy is growing up and he needs space to become his own person. I am going to have to cut the apron strings. And no doubt in September, there will be a tear in my eye (more like blubbing) as I see my little boy walk to school.

Have you got a child going to secondary school this September? How do you feel about it? Are you ready?


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  1. July 17, 2017 / 9:19 am

    I agree that kids nowadays still need guidance from their parents, but it is an exciting, yet thrilling adventure to see them grow. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this one. I had fun reading your article.

    • Tooting Mama
      July 17, 2017 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you so much, it’s been brilliant to watch them grow into the fantastic little people they are!

  2. July 3, 2017 / 8:50 am

    I feel a long way off this (I am as we have a one and three year old) but I know it will fly by. I can’t imagine how nerve wracking it must be letting go on so many levels. But I also have to remember I was a teenager and I was a lot more sensible than adults gave me credit for. On social media this is a great resource for parents #sharingthebloglove

    • Tooting Mama
      July 3, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Thank you so much, it’s an interesting time, I have to relinquish control, and let my little one make their own choices, mistakes, and grow! It’s a learning time for both of us!

  3. July 1, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Going to secondary school is such a milestone! My eldest is about to start in year 5& we are having the chats about next steps. Time is going way to quickly. Like you, I’m not ready for handing over a phone & overseeing social media accounts. Hope it all goes well for you in September. #sharingthebloglove

    • Tooting Mama
      July 4, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks, lovely! Time really does fly, I really don’t feel ready to let go, but I realise I have to!

  4. June 28, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    Thankfully we are a lot way off secondary school. I was chatting to a friend last week who has children at secondary school and I can’t believe that parents don’t go to sports day. This just seems so strange to me, but I guess it was the same when I was younger. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Laura – Dear Bear and Beany recently posted…Liked and Loved June 2017My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 28, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Oh no I just love sports day! I can’t imagine not being there!

  5. June 28, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    Oh this was me two years ago. Now he is about to go into year 9 and I have no idea where the time went! I was so worried about him starting high school but it has been the making of him! Emotional times though! Thank you for joining us at #sharingthebloglove xx
    five little doves recently posted…Joie Stages Isofix -from birth to 7 yearsMy Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 28, 2017 / 7:44 pm

      Wow! I am glad to hear it, I am so glad secondary school has been the making of your son, hoping it will be the making of my little boy!

  6. June 26, 2017 / 10:12 am

    We have got plenty of time to think about this for my little girl. But I can only imagine how you are feeling. They grow up too quickly.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 27, 2017 / 1:06 pm

      Yes tell me about that growing up – far too fast!

  7. June 25, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    My little boy starts primary school in September so we’re a long way off secondary school yet. I’m a secondary school teacher though and I actually love seeing all the 11 year olds starting big school, they seem so little when they start but within a few months they have all settled in and you wonder what you were worrying about. I’m sure Wonder Boy will be just fine 🙂 #SharingTheBlogLove
    Sarah recently posted…How to make a monkey cakeMy Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 25, 2017 / 7:50 pm

      Thank you my lovely that’s so comforting to hear. I just think he’s going to look so big in his uniform it’s going to make me blub. I think at secondary school it’s where they really grow. He’s such an amazing kid, I am so very proud of him.

  8. June 25, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    It’s also worrying this growing up malarky. It’s so hard to let go of children but we just have to hope they will be sensible. Trust is a 2 way street thougb . Good luck!! Thanks for linking up to #fortheloveofblog

    • Tooting Mama
      June 25, 2017 / 7:51 pm

      You are right, trust is a two-way street. We both have a part to play and I have to relinquish control!

  9. June 25, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    They grow up so fast don’t they! Mine is no where near secondary school, but we are heading towards primary school and it’s like a runaway train now! Full stream ahead and no looking back. Good luck for the journey. #DreamTeam
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#DreamTeam Linky 60My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 25, 2017 / 7:51 pm

      Yes it is a train hurtling out of my life! It’s going to be some journey I can tell you that much!

  10. June 24, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    I know how you feel. Sort of… My daughter is a lot younger – she will be three in 3 weeks, but it is really freaking me out. She isn’t a baby any more. She becomes more and more independent every day. Next year she will be starting school. I am so not ready for that. When did my baby girl turn into a little girl? It doesn’t seem like 3 minutes since she was born, never mind 3 years. Time sure does fly doesn’t it. #fortheloveofBLOG

  11. Sarah Ann
    June 23, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    I’m sure my mum had all the same thoughts when went to secondary school, it was daunting for her but I was really excited. There is so much to consider; trying to create a fine balance between being the parent and allowing your child to become more independent. Definitely understand your phone and social media concerns – it’s all very concerning.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you, it just seems so very scary. But I have to let him go, he needs to make his own way out in this world!

  12. June 23, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    It’s such a defining moment in their and your life. There are many highs and lows to navigating all that comes with secondary school and their bid for independence but it is also an exciting time as they flourish into capable young adults. Please come and join our linky for Tweens & Teens, we have a community of parents going through the same phase in September including one of our hosts. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Jo – Mother of Teenagers recently posted…Tweens, Teens & Beyond #13My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Thank you so much….I will definitely check out that linky!

  13. June 23, 2017 / 8:40 am

    This is a fascinating post for me as I’m at the earlier transition – my son starts Reception in September. Transitions are hard and letting go is harder but I just try to focus on enjoying small moments and having belief that I’ll ride out the change and adjust x
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    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      I do remember those early years, it’s just as nerve-wracking. It’s that first step watching our children make their own way in the world.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:43 pm

      I know I am going to come home and just cry my eyes out. Just thinking about it is making my eyes well up!

  14. June 22, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    Thankfully N has a few more years to go. But yes, I’m already worrying about some of these things #sharingthebloglove

    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:45 pm

      Thank you!

  15. June 22, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    It’s a scary time when your kid is old enough for secondary school! We’re not there yet but I’m not looking forward to it #sharingthebloglove

    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:46 pm

      It feels like it’s just crept up on me and I feel so unprepared!

  16. June 22, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Jeez, I get a little bit of a heart palpitation just thinking about this stage – and my eldest is five! I have some friends who have survived this stage and their approach was taking it in baby steps, not all at once…good luck!
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:47 pm

      You and me both my lovely. I really am feeling my chest tighten and my eyes well up. Seriously how did this happen? Only feels like yesterday when we walked into the primary school playground!

  17. June 22, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    The time goes so fast! My eldest is going to junior school and my middle child starts infants. The this time next year my youngest will start preschool. Eeeeek!
    Musings of a tired mummy…zzz… recently posted…National Selfie Day!My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 23, 2017 / 7:48 pm

      Oh I know! It’s totally nerve-wracking for me!

  18. Veronique
    June 22, 2017 / 9:44 am

    Exciting and daunting indeed! Are you moving back to Tooting then? If so, looking forward to seeing you again!

    • Tooting Mama
      June 22, 2017 / 10:39 am

      Yes we are my lovely. Can’t wait to meet up with you. And the kids speak French!!!

  19. June 22, 2017 / 9:38 am

    I can imagine it being difficult but sadly it is something all us parents will have to experience X #bloggersclubuk

    • Tooting Mama
      June 22, 2017 / 10:40 am

      Yes it’s a difficult time. It’s a big right of passage for us all.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 22, 2017 / 9:15 am

      Oh this is so hard. I remember those days. Good luck, Reception is pretty cool – lots of playing the kids love it!

  20. June 21, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Such a big milestone! I’m still getting over the fact my eldest is in primary school, never mind when it’s time for secondary.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 21, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      I remember the primary school milestone – that’s a biggie!

    • Tooting Mama
      June 21, 2017 / 8:12 pm

      I know. He was super excited at first but now the reality is setting in and are all just a little bit worried. But that is only natural!

  21. June 21, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    That is such a huge milestone! I still remember my first day at secondary school and the excitement of that bit more independence.

    • Tooting Mama
      June 21, 2017 / 8:11 pm

      It’s such as huge milestone. And he is so worried at the moment, but we will get there!

  22. June 21, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    Such nervous times for a Mum. It really is life changing I’m sure. My boy starts full time primary school in September and I have all my own worries which are all so different to yours. But reading everything you’ve said I know we will go through the same at some point too. Social media and peer pressure must be the worse things nowadays.
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    • Tooting Mama
      June 21, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      You are so right. I remember primary school time, that is such a huge milestone. I remember that feeling well, again having to let go. And now I am doing it again!

  23. June 21, 2017 / 10:15 am

    Oh it’s so much more than just going to secondary school isn’t it? It’s everything that comes with it – mainly the phone and that whole world of social media becoming very much available. That’s been the biggest challenge for me for sure. The iphone tracker – worth everything – let’s just say, without naming which child, it has been used a few times! Oh the joys! Communication and keeping the lines of communication open is the best bit of advice that I can pass on to you. Hoping all goes well x #fortheloveofBLOG
    justsayingmum recently posted…Toby & Roo Talks Teens!My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      June 21, 2017 / 4:27 pm

      Phone, social media, peer pressure….it is such a worrying time. Especially as they have to make these choices themselves. Let’s see how September goes.

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