I’ve mentioned before about my youngest’s anxiety and separation issues.

I have to give her a huge amount of credit. Since she started school in August, she has come on leaps and bounds.

We’d dreaded dropping her off at school. We feared that she would refuse to go into the classroom and be overwhelmed by the whole experience. For the most part, however, she’s been just brilliant!

There have been one or two days where she was tearful, but that’s normal for a kid starting school. We’ve had none of the real, stressful and prolonged issues that we had earlier this year with her attending nursery. The other thing that may have helped is her football.

Football

Last year, I took her to a Soccatots class every Sunday. It was a basic football skills class for pre-schoolers to learn ball control skills and build their confidence.

She enjoyed it. There was a lot of parent participation in those classes. For most of the exercises, dad / mum / grandparent was required to join in. (First thing on a Sunday morning, which meant that there were a few times that dad / mum / grandparent was suffering a little from Saturday night…).

Football

Eve completed this class and got her certificate. As she was starting school, she was no longer eligible for the class.

In August, she joined the youngest training class for the local football club. The first class took place on a real, full size football ground, which blew her mind. We’re now in a local sports hub until Spring.

These classes are different. They’re in a much bigger space, and they actually have games of football at the end of the class. They also don’t involve the parents at all. The kids are with each other for all the activities for the full hour. She’s fortunate that two of her friends from school also attend the class. She’s also not the only girl either, like she was in Soccatots.

Gone are the days when she’d hide behind me, not wanting to join in. As soon as we’re in there, she’s off like a shot, running around with her friends. Dad is practically forgotten about until she needs to come back for a swig from her water bottle.

The effect of this, and school, on her confidence has been huge. She’s happier, more outgoing and gets upset less often. Our little girl is growing up!