Bradley: My Letter to you as you start Secondary School
I remember your first day of school like it was yesterday. You were 3 and a half and a ball of energy, you couldn't wait to get involved. You didn't get upset, you waved me off and went off to play. Me however, I shed tears on the way home and paced the house for those 3 hours and couldn't wait until home time. You cried as you didn't want to come home!
This week you started Secondary School.
I think I was more nervous than you. You seemed a little apprehensive but also looking forward to it. You were worried about making new friends, and you were convinced you'd get lost and walk into your classes late.
I walked you to the bus stop and stood back while you stood on your own amongst all the uniform-clad children also waiting for the school bus. I waved you off and walked back home, hoping you were okay, wondering if you'd got a seat or had started chatting to anyone. I followed your location on my phone [thank god for the Find My Friends app] until you got to school. It felt like the longest journey ever. And I contemplated pacing the house until you finished, like I did on your very first day 8 years ago.
You rang me when you finished and told me you'd had a great day. Phew. Second day you came home telling me about all the new friends you'd made. Third day you told me you were loving school. I'm so glad.
I'm really hoping Secondary School helps you to grow up and become a bit less silly, as you're guilty of being a bit silly and hyperactive, as you know. I'm hoping it gives you the skills to become more independent, make choices and think more for yourself, rather than me having to give you constant instructions.
I know you'll do well academically. You're a bright boy and I'm very proud that you managed Level 5's in all your SAT's exams earlier this year.
We haven't been getting on so well these past 6 months. Your behaviour hasn't been great, you've been told off a lot and beginning to be punished more. I'm not quite sure why your behaviour has changed so much. You're argumentative, think you're always right, can't seem to do as you're told and have to be told to do something at least 2-3 times. I'm hoping this is an age thing. I'm hoping secondary school teaches you to behave a little better.
I know you'll use your manners and be polite. It makes me very happy when people comment on your lovely manners. Hopefully you'll continue this through Secondary School. Good manners are so important.
I hope you'll get involved, throw yourself into all your classes and maybe some after school activities too. You're a friendly boy and you're not afraid to talk to new people so I'm sure you'll have lots of new friends in no time.
I can't quite get my head around the fact that you've started secondary school. You've grown up far too quickly. The years just blur into one. The same will happen for you over the next few years. High School will fly by. So make the most of it. Enjoy the new experiences, make memories, make friends.
Choose your friends wisely. Choose friends that'll stick by you, help you, lift you up when you're having a bad day, accept your decisions and your flaws. Choose friends to make memories with. I had great friends back at school, and we had the most amazing time. Be mindful though, being friends with the wrong people can change you and lead you down the wrong path. I think you're quite a good judge of character though, I hope you'll stay clear of peer pressure, remember whats right and wrong and not get involved in anything you don't want to, or that you know is wrong.
High School, and growing up, will bring many a temptation. Your friends may get into drinking, smoking, under age sex, crime... the list is endless. Make the right choices Bradley.
High School may also introduce you to some not so nice people. There are some nasty kids about, you know this already. Ignore any remarks or nasty behaviour. Remove yourself away from any negative people. Be better than them. Speak nicely to everyone. Be a good friend. Look out for people who need a friend, you're good at this, I've always been proud of how you used to take new children under your wing at Primary School. If anything is upsetting you, come and talk to me, or James, or your Dad. Or even a teacher. Always talk to someone, a problem often feels so much better once shared.
Learn. Take everything in. Bring something new home with you every single day. If you don't understand or you find things a little tricky, ask a friend or ask the teacher. Never give up. Everything you learn from now is so important! The more you learn, the better your exam results. The better your exam results, the wider your choices. You have expensive taste, so you're going to need a good job to pay for it! :)
Be a good role model to your little brother. You adore him and he adores you. Teach him to do his best, try hard at everything he does, and be polite and helpful.
Most importantly have fun! Have fun and enjoy this next chapter of your childhood. Enjoy making new friends, enduring new challenges, learning new things.