Back to School #MyMarks

I have made no secret of the fact that over the last fifteen months, Eva has struggled massively with school. We’ve had tears every evening and every morning, we’ve had hysterics at school drop off, and she has missed out on so many wonderful moments due to her fears, her anxieties and most of all her lack of confidence. And that has broken my heart day after day.

I always look forward to the school holidays, even more so the Christmas holidays as this last half term is always the hardest for Eva. Where as most children look forward to the Halloween Disco, to the rehearsals for the school nativity, the Christmas parties and the grand performance for the parents, for Eva it’s unbearably hard and that little smile hides a whole host of fears.

I can’t tell you how sad it made me to sit there at the Halloween disco and have her cling to my leg the entire time, to see Megan up dancing with her friends, a big smile on her face, looking over at her big sister who lacked the confidence to let go of me for just one moment and join in the fun.

I can’t tell you how heart breaking it was to have her sob night after night, afraid to go to school as she didn’t want to join in the singing for the nativity, to sit in the hall day after day and feel nothing but panic and fear.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much it hurt to sit there, in a crowd of proud parents, and see my beautiful little girl up on the stage, rigid with panic, those big blue eyes never leaving mine, looking at me with an expression that simply said, “Help me.”

As hard as this last term has been for Eva, it’s been hard for me too.

My biggest hope is that we can get through the next two weeks in school and enjoy two wonderful weeks together over Christmas. And my plan is that over the comingweeks we will reassure Eva of all the lovely things that school will bring in the New Year in the hope that we can help her to regain her confidence and find her feet.

So far, with Eva and Megan’s input, we have managed to come up with eight lovely things to look forward to –

1. A new school uniform! It’s always lovely to start a new term with a brand new uniform and we are all kitted out from Marks & Spencersย which, as always, will have the girls looking super smart!

2. Eva’s birthday! With Eva turning 6 in February we are already planning her party and making a list of all of her little school friends to invite. Birthdays are always a lovely treat to look forward to.

2. Welcoming Spring! The girls favourite thing about school is most definitely playtime and with Spring to look forward to there will be more opportunities to get outside and play together.

3. The grand unveiling of the extension to the school. The girls school has been having extensive building work over the last few months and Eva can’t wait to see the new classrooms and multi purpose pitch that are being built.

5. Sports Day! Despite Eva’s lack of confidence, I was the proudest Mum on the planet last year when she ran in the running race. Eva loves sports and I really hope that she can join in again this year and show Megan the ropes for the very first time!

6, Class trips. Last year Eva went on a school trip to Blackpool Zoo and she is already excited to find out where next years trip will be.

7. Harry’s class visits. Towards the end of term Harry will begin his taster days at school ready for him to join the girls in September. I just know that Eva and Megan are going to love mothering him in the playground!

8. Breaking up for the Summer! If all else fails and we have another year like this one, there are just seven months to go until we break up for the six weeks holidays.

I’m feeling really positive about about the coming year, for me, for my family, for Eva and school. I think 2018 might just be the year that Eva finally finds her feet and realises just how much fun school can be……and just how wonderful she is!!


** This is a collaborative post **




  1. December 11, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    I am so glad things are looking up for you all! Your girls seem very happy. X

  2. December 11, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    School can be a tough place, but with the right support and love and strength from friends and family, I’m sure she’ll relish those moments we wish we could relive. I’m so glad things are starting to seem brighter for you guys!

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:25 pm

      Thank you Lily, I really do hope so. xx

  3. December 12, 2017 / 2:01 am

    I’m happy for you and your family. I really hope Eva copes up well with school. It can be hard to blend in with the others especially as a child, but I know she’ll learn to in due time with all the support you’ve been giving her. Wishing you all the best ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:25 pm

      Thank you Lyka, I’m hopeful that next year will see some changes. Fingers crossed. xx

  4. December 12, 2017 / 3:10 am

    Aww what a sweet post. Good luck with everything! I hope your little one finds her courage! Sounds like she needs a dose of Wizard of Oz ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you Rach, here’s hoping. xxx

  5. December 12, 2017 / 10:48 am

    Oh bless her, my daughter struggles with school too. I focused on trying to help her make friends which helped a lot x

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      Ahh it’s so hard when they struggle, I really hope next year is kinder all round. xx

  6. December 12, 2017 / 11:27 am

    Bless her, I hope this positive outlook will help her in the new year. Itโ€™s horrible watching them be nervous and sad when we know they can be so outgoing and confident in other situations x

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Yes that’s the worst part, she is a different child at home and it’s been hard to see her change! xx

  7. December 12, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    Ah bless her. Sounds like you are being so supportive to her though and it’s so hard for you watching her go through such a tough time

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Thank you Sonia, it’s been a long 15 months! xx

  8. December 12, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    Aw how lovely do the children look in their lovely new shiny school uniforms. I love marks and spencers can’t go wrong x

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      I agree, they really are the best when it comes to uniforms! xx

  9. December 12, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    Awww, I hope that 2018 is an amazing year for you all and I’m sure it will be. I think you have a lovely list of new things to look forward to. My two always get excited about getting a new uniform and also new stationery! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Oooh new stationery, I still get excited about that now! Thanks lovely. xx

  10. December 12, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    A new uniform is always something to look forward to. We get most of our stuff from M&S because the quality is fab and the prices really reasonable.

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      I totally agree Talya, if they didn’t grow so fast it would last and last! xx

  11. December 12, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    That must be so upsetting to watch. I’m glad to hear things are starting to improve now. What beautiful girls, by the way!

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Ahh thank you Melissa! xx

  12. December 12, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    I really hope you get through the next two weeks positively so you can enjoy Christmas with your kids. Here’s hoping something changes in the new year with Eva’s mindset about school x

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Fingers crossed, it’s been a long 15 months! xx

  13. December 12, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    Aww bless Eva, I hope school becomes a happy thing for her soon. Those are all great things to look forward to – I too am waiting anxiously for spring!

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Me too, it’s been so hard to see her struggle. Roll on spring! xx

  14. December 12, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Aww bless her. It’s not easy for some kids to be outgoing. For some it comes naturally and for others it’s so difficult. Eva will get there in time. The Christmas break will be great for you all x

  15. December 12, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Keeping my fingers crossed that Eva has a much better Spring Term. I can’t imagine the stress and strain it puts on you all.

    • Laura Dove
      December 12, 2017 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you Justine, I really hope so as she is missing out on so much fun! xx

  16. December 12, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Awww bless her, I hope 2018 is definitely better for her and having her fingers crossed.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Thank you Anosa. xx

  17. December 12, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    Bless her. Keeping my fingers crossed, hope she finds much joy in the Spring term. But, one thing to note here is that every child is different. Some might love dance or music, but others may be observed in Maths or painting or any sport. Just keep looking for that thing.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      That’s so true, thank you. She loves to read and write, I think she is incredibly talented there! xx

  18. December 12, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    Your daughters are so beautiful and they have so many things to look forward to in the New Year! I am sure with all the positive anticipation for the New Year Eva will be a lot more confident in school! Sending lots of love to you an your lovely family!

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Thank you lovely, I really do hope so too! xx

  19. Razena
    December 12, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    Reading this brought so many memories flooding back as if it were yesterday when I was Eva. I don’t remember exactly how or why I went from being a cheeky mouthy 3 yr old to a shy and scaredy cat 5 yr old who hated having my parents out of my sight. There were a multitude of contributing factors and at one point I remember my late mum being at her wits end because she had no idea how to fix my shyness, over-sensitivity and low self esteem. To this day, however, I still remember every single thing she told me to make me regain my self confidence and make me believe that I was perfect as I was, and could succeed at anything I set my mind to.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 10:00 pm

      Oh Razena, you describe exactly how Eva is too!! I’m sorry you struggled but I love that your Mum was able to build your confidence and self belief. Than you so much for sharing this with me. xx

  20. December 12, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    Megan and Eva looks super cute! I’m sure back to school for the girls will be exciting moment! Hope Eva boost her confident on sports day! BTW love those red cardigans they look so adorable!

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      Thank you!! xx

  21. December 12, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    Bless her heart, I hope that her confidence grows over time. Alice cannot wait to Holly to come for the taster days in the summer and for her to actually go to school with her everyday. It’s going to be so cute x

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Ahh I bet! I think the girls will love having Harry there too, Eva is such a little mother, it’s so sweet! xx

  22. Serena Hale
    December 12, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    Her confidence will grow in time for sure. They are so adorable and great things are ahead.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Thank you Serena, I’m sure it will. xx

  23. December 12, 2017 / 10:35 pm

    I really feel for you. My son was deeply unhappy during his first year of school, sometimes even faking feeling sick so he wouldn’t have to go. We have since moved house and with it schools, and he has blossomed in to a completely different person. I hope you manage to turn the corner too.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:57 pm

      Yes! Eva has been the exact same, which is so sad for a four year old last year! That’s great to hear your son has blossomed, I hope Eva does too. xx

  24. December 12, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    Oh bless her it must be so hard for her going through it and you to watch it, I am glad you have come up with some things for her too look forward to.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Thanks Sarah, I’m hoping they help! xx

  25. December 13, 2017 / 12:32 am

    Oh bless Eva, I know from personal experience how a lack of confidence and anxiety can be so hard when it comes to social events and doing things in front of others. I really hope that she gets more confident in the new year, if only she saw what we all see… a beautiful, bright and personable girl x

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      Thank you Ana, I totally wish that she could see that. She has so much to offer to school, she just needs to find the confidence to take those first steps. Fingers crossed. xx

  26. December 13, 2017 / 2:49 am

    I was a late starter as well when I first started school…when I learned to read and fell in love with books,that lifted my confidence a great deal. Eva is going to be fine and I’ll wager a great student.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:54 pm

      Ahh thank you Patrick, I really do hope so. She loves to read, and to write, and she is thriving academically…it’s just boosting that confidence. I’m sure it will come with time. xx

  27. December 13, 2017 / 7:29 am

    It’s really not that easy to be an introvert and be in school so I understand what your daughter is going through. She’s lucky to have parents like you who supports her and is patient with her needs.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks Carol, it’s been so hard to see her so upset. I’m hoping she can gain her confidence in the new year. xx

  28. December 13, 2017 / 8:38 am

    A lovely idea to think of things for her to look forward to about going back to school. I hope all goes well ๐Ÿ™‚ X

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:51 pm

      Thank you, I’m hoping 2018 is a great year! xx

  29. December 13, 2017 / 9:12 am

    What an adorable post – school can be so scary for them, can’t it! I hope she puffs out her wee chest and gains more confidence in school! xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:51 pm

      Ahh thanks lovely, here’s hoping! xx

  30. December 13, 2017 / 11:04 am

    Bless I hope 2018 is amazing for you all! I love marks and spencer uniforms, they last so well

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      Thank you Melissa, I really hope so too! xx

  31. December 13, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Sorry to hear that she’s having a tough time. If its any consolation I was a really shy kid, but I really came into my own in my teens. And its so good to hear she loves sports, perhaps this could be something you nurture, is there a sports club or after schools sport she could take part in regularly?

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      That’s a great idea Rachel, I will definitely look into it! xx

  32. December 13, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Aww I’m sending you and Eva positive school vibes for the new year too! School is such a tough time for some children, but hopefully she’ll enjoy it and look forward to going ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Helen. xx

  33. December 13, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    I’m so sorry your little girl is having such a hard time. I had this issue with my youngest for the first two years of elementary school. but it sounds like you have a great plan to talk about all the positives of school. Best of luck for the second half of the year:)

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      Thank you Michelle, having things to look forward to always helps! xx

  34. December 13, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    School really can be a hit or miss which can made it tough place. Hopefully it improves in the new year for her.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      Thank you James, I really hope so! xx

  35. December 13, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Hope you all have a nice holiday and do all you want to do. I am looking forward to the holidays too!

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      Thank you!! I can’t wait! xx

  36. December 13, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    I hope 2018 is a fantastic year for Eva. They look very smart!

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks Katy! xx

  37. December 13, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    School can be a tough time for some children but I really hope 2018 brings some positive moments for Eva. Creating a list like this with all the things to look forward to is a great idea!

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Thanks Emily, I hope that it helps! xx

  38. December 13, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    What an honest and inspiring post. Yes, I think everyone knows how terrifying school can be. I like that you guys sit together, talk and come up with a plan to fix everything. Well done!

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Thank you so much Anne. xx

  39. December 13, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    I hope things will be better next year for both of you. I loved school but I was bullied and that made it hard.

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that, school can be very hard. xx

  40. December 13, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Oh bless her, I hope 2018 is much easier for her. It’s a great list to focus on to keep positive

    • Laura Dove
      December 13, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      Thank you Stephanie, I’m hoping it’s a better year! xx

  41. December 13, 2017 / 11:29 pm

    Ohh bless your little Eva, it must be heart wrenching for you to see her struggling like this. I think putting together this list with the girls is a wonderful and reassuring thing to do. Mine also always get kitted out in M&S clothes, as they really do last the best. Mich x

    • Laura Dove
      December 14, 2017 / 10:32 pm

      Thanks lovely. It’s so hard, I really hope that we can use the next few weeks to really reinforce how wonderful the new year will be and all of the lovely things school will bring. If it doesn’t help, I’m all out of ideas! xx

  42. Jennifer L
    December 14, 2017 / 6:28 am

    Aww such a warm post, so honest and raw. I hope in time Eva has a better 2018 and that you can enjoy some great holiday fun during the break. Sending her lots of support!

    • Laura Dove
      December 14, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      Thank you Jennifer, I’m sure we will have a lovely christmas together! xx

  43. December 14, 2017 / 6:49 am

    That’s such a shame she’s not enjoying school. I’m sorry I haven’t got any useful suggestions to share. ๐Ÿ™

    • Laura Dove
      December 14, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth, nor me! xx

  44. December 14, 2017 / 10:23 am

    Aw bless Eva, I really hope her confidence builds and she starts to enjoy school more, with so many lovely things to look forward to ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laura Dove
      December 14, 2017 / 10:26 pm

      Thank you Jemma, I hope so too! xx

  45. December 14, 2017 / 11:15 am

    Cute children. I appreciate your ideas to build and enhance her self-confidence. Eva is already smart. You said she loves sports and class trips very much. They are great methods to refresh and energize her mind.

    All the best to your girls.

    Take care,

    • Laura Dove
      December 14, 2017 / 10:26 pm

      Thank you Manoj, I really do hope that she settles next year. xx

  46. December 14, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    Sending lots of positive thoughts for school in 2018 – here’s hoping Eva has a much better 2018

  47. December 14, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    I totally feel your pain. My youngest has crippling shyness, sometimes he just can’t speak at all. The hardest thing is watching him at things I know he’s excited about and would love but which he can’t let himself go to enjoy. If it’s any consolation he is starting to find his feet a little (he’s in year 1). I do hope she feels happier at school soon. Enjoy those Christmas holidays.

    • Laura Dove
      December 14, 2017 / 10:22 pm

      Ahh its just awful isn’t it? Eva is also in year 1 and I had been so sure she would find her feet this year with Megan joining her. So far it feels as though she’s being left behind which just breaks my heart! Thank you though, and you too! xx

  48. December 15, 2017 / 9:29 am

    Oh I can’t even imagine how hard it must be, Laura. Poor Eva! I really hoped when Megan started, things would get a lot easier. Sounds like you have lots of great things in line to get her excited about next term. Fingers crossed it helps!

    • Laura Dove
      December 15, 2017 / 11:23 am

      Thanks lovely, I really hoped Megan starting would help things too. I’m hoping once Christmas is over she relaxes a little, fingers crossed. xx

  49. December 16, 2017 / 5:20 am

    The kids are so adorable! School can be scary for kids. I think you came up with a great list of things for them to look forward to. I believe it will help.

    • Laura Dove
      December 17, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      Thank you Brandi! xx

  50. December 16, 2017 / 4:11 pm

    It’s so sad to read how much she is struggling with school. I think having a new uniform can feel like starting a fresh and I really hope that helps her feel more confident in school

    • Laura Dove
      December 17, 2017 / 11:31 pm

      Thank you Zena, a new uniform is always a lovely treat for back to school! xx

  51. December 16, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    It is such a shame that she is struggling with school. Hopefully she will find her feet soon now that she has her sister there

    • Laura Dove
      December 17, 2017 / 11:30 pm

      I thought that would be the case but three months in and still struggling! Maybe next year! xx

  52. December 17, 2017 / 8:12 am

    Oh Laura, the poor thing. And I can’t imagine how heart-breaking her constant worry and sadness is for you. I love how you’ve focused on the positives here in this post. I hope 2018 is a great one for you all, especially Eva.

    • Laura Dove
      December 17, 2017 / 11:26 pm

      Thanks lovely, I’m really hoping that 2018 is kinder to her, she has so much to offer to school! xx

  53. December 17, 2017 / 8:41 am

    Oh poor little thing. Reading this reminded me so much of me when I was that age. I hated school. Every night would just be worries and thoughts about the following day, the separation from my Mum, and the cold unfriendly atmosphere at the school I suddenly had to spend every day at (it was in a Victorian building that didn’t have that much warmth). Happily, by the age of 8 I was really happy to go in, and had regained a lot of confidence. I hope she gets there soon. xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 17, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Ahh I really hope that Eva settles long before 8 but at least there is hope! I think she’s just one of those children who would rather be with their Mummy! xx

  54. December 17, 2017 / 11:10 am

    Kay has been the same , totally different girl when sheโ€™s at home and when itโ€™s time for school , she changes . We are actually transferring her as itโ€™s not fair . Fingers crossed for you lovely xx

    • Laura Dove
      December 17, 2017 / 11:16 pm

      Ahh I’m sorry to hear that. I think Eva would be the same at every school, it’s like she’s just not quite ready? xx

  55. December 18, 2017 / 3:35 am

    Your girls are so blessed to have a very supportive parent like you. I believe that she can find friends that matches her personality.

    • Laura Dove
      December 19, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      AHh thank you so much Karla. xx

  56. December 30, 2017 / 2:37 am

    Being a mother I can understand your pain. However, itโ€™s normal that some kids do struggle with school and also appreciate the ideas to improve the self-confidence in kids. They are very cute. I wish this new January may bring lots of confidence to the kid.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:24 pm

      Thank you Kavita, that’s really quite reassuring. I’ve been dreading them going back this week but I am hoping she finds her confidence soon enough. xx

  57. December 30, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    Oh, gosh, it’s so hard, isn’t it? I have adopted two boys, and they had a lot of separation anxiety and issues with school.
    I used to put post-it notes in their pack lunch and books. Simple things – a little comment, or even just a smiley face. I gave them both something of mine – even just a wristband that I had worn – then let them wear it. They also had a family photo in the pencil cases. All this was to show they were kept in mind, and I was thinking of them. If things are getting worse I would talk to the teacher – they will have dealt with this before.

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas and good luck for the return to school.

    • Laura Dove
      January 1, 2018 / 10:13 pm

      Thank you for those tips, that’s so helpful! I never thought of the family photo, I will try that when they return this week. I’m dreading it a little! xx

  58. January 3, 2018 / 6:57 am

    Such a good idea try and focus on all the positives abou school so Eva feels excited to go back rather than anxious. I can only imagine how difficult this must all be on you lovely, really hope 2018 is a better year for you and your family xx #BlogCrush

    • Laura Dove
      January 3, 2018 / 12:49 pm

      Thank you Wendy, I really do hope so. We go back tomorrow and so far it’s not looking great!! xx

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