I get these. Badly. Watching my child struggle with anxiety over going to back to school is heartbreaking. I wish I could take his place. His fears well up and consume him and it literally breaks my heart. I tell him it’ll all be OK. I tell him he has to go. Then I sit and wonder whether that’s even true. Does he really have to go? Is he really better off in someone else’s care than mine? Do I not teach him enough during our time together? Then I look at his brothers who are the opposite. Who have been looking forward to the new term and went to bed excited for tomorrow. They thrive in the school environment, playing with friends learning in different ways. My heart aches in a different way – they don’t need me quite so much. They’re all so different. Even though they are siblings, they’ve all had different life experiences already. They view the world differently. One of my boys thrives on social interaction, loves connecting with people, new and familiar. One is just as happy in his own company as he is with others and will adapt to either environment quite easily. And one is so scared, so lost in social situations with new people, and often with familiar people too. There are reasons for this, but it really doesn’t matter when they are clinging to you and wanting you to keep them safe. I’ve considered home schooling and right now, on the cusp of a new term, the idea of keeping them with me is so appealing. But would it actually be help? Or would I be encouraging the fear? I’m not sure either way, but for all those parents out there with children who are afraid, I’m with you. I empathise completely. For all those little ones starting a new term, or a new school, or school in general, I’m praying for you. Thinking of all of you.