In Praise of School Trips

My 5 year old had her first school trip yesterday and it went amazingly well. Of course, like any parent I was anxious about her being away with a large group of kids and without me (I don’t know why as she’s often out without me), anyhow I think the whole  farm adventure was great for her confidence, and mine. A contingent of mums at the school, however wouldn’t let their kids go unless they were allowed to come too (which they weren’t). As the ratio was already one teacher/TA/parent to six kids the head teacher rightly said no. Asking one of the mums why she wasn’t letting her child go, she told me she never ever lets her daughter go anywhere without her besides school. She said she was worried her kid would be snatched, or attacked or hurt at the farm without her there to keep a watchful eye. As a parent I do sympathise with her view because I think it’s easy to let parental fear get the better of you. A while back I was reading The Daily Mail every day and every day I’d tell my husband we had to be careful about ponds/kettles/washing machines/babysitters/over friendly teachers/school trips because I’d read some terrible story about what happens when parents don’t pay attention. Since I’ve stopped reading it my fear levels have returned to normal and while I do get anxious I keep it under control for the sake of my daughter. I don’t want her to feel the outside world is a terrible place and be afraid to be without me. Studies actually show that school trips provide a great opportunity for pupils to face a range of challenges that contribute significantly to their personal development and self esteem and if my 5 year old is anything to go by this is true. But how do you feel? Do you feel anxious about school trips? Do you ever let your preschooler have a playdate at someone else’s house on his or her own? Let us know.