Coping With My Child's First School Residential

Next month my eldest son is going to be off on his first residential trip with primary school, he is eight years old and it’s the first time he will be away from home without family around him. I honestly thought I would be fine with it as I am generally so busy with life, my blog and the other two boys that I didn’t think I would give it a second thought.

I have avoided the school Facebook so I didn't have to think about it and hid from conversations in the playground as the other parents ensure they have everything the children will and generally tried not to think about it too much.

But for the past week or so, it has hit home. I have a lump in my throat just at the thought of him being somewhere without me. 

And it's just my fear too. It’s not that he has shown any sign of not wanting to go at all, it’s more that I am starting to worry that he'll get home sick and we might miss each other, and he'll miss his brothers. T is a very sensitive child and there are times that he just wants his mum and dad - and that's what I'm scared of. 

Now, I know that he'll be fine. T will love all the outdoor activities, the climbing, and the swimming, as well as spending 2 whole day and nights with his friends, and that's what is keeping me smiling at the moment - knowing that he will love it. 

I'm sure all us parents go through this when our oldest child leaves for their first residential, but it still doesn't make it any easier. And now, I have to start getting prepared, so I've got his little case out and am slowly packing it with everything he will need. 

To help T feel included in the whole process, he is helping with packing and choosing his clothing for the few days he is away. We've packed some of T's favourite t shirts, comfortable sweatpants and a few extra outfits, as I'm sure it's going to be a messy few days playing in the mud no doubt. Wellies will be a must and gloves and a hat as it will still be quite chilly out. 

With all my anxiety in mind, I have tried to make the process as painless as possible for T. I have spoke to him about the upcoming separation positively and have explained that it's normal to feel homesick, that's it'll only be a couple of days and he will be back to getting tormented by his two younger brothers. 

It's just a case of keeping myself busy and knowing that after two days, he will come back so happy, and wanting to go back to his residential to play some more. 


  1. Mever easy regardless of the age - keeping busy certainly helps

  2. Thats so young for a residential, im sure he will have a great time. My daughter went in year 5 and she loved it!

  3. Remember those days with my son. I was so nervous and it turned out great.

  4. This was a very nostalgic post and I really enjoyed this one so thanks for posting! :)

  5. I was the same, absolutely bricking it the whole time ouur son was at camp, this was with cubs though, constantly checking to see if I had a missed call from them, when I oicked him up at the end of the weekend I couldn't believe I had worried so much, I was expecting him to be all clingy and chuffed we had came to collect him but no, he was gutted camp was over lol

  6. Anonymous01:15

    Practical and emotional. Mums try to do it all :- Their best for the children. You certainly seem to be understanding of the situation from your son's point of view. Opportunities and adventures can be wonderful experiences. Bonding, and sharing time with friends. A strong social network can be so, so beneficial for years to come. So natural for us to be nervous :- We want the best for them, safety, feeling secure, etc.

    Mobile phone can be so helpful in such a new situation. Child can contact parent. Parents can be reassured by hearing from child. Adventures can be shared verbally with family.

    Rachel Craig

  7. Linda McGarrigle13:22

    I am getting close to this myself, i understand the feelings only too well, dreading it x

  8. it makes your heart ache when they first stay away even for a night .

  9. I think it's normal to feel nervous x

  10. I remember my son staying away from home for the first time, she wore his Man United shirt and then when he came home 5 days later he still had it on