A letter from me and a note from the school.

7th November 2011

Dear Miss xxxx (the teacher) and xxxx (the teaching assistant)

 I’m writing because I wanted to share with you some of the reasons why we are arriving late and to communicate what we are doing about this.

 Zeca is insisting that he doesn’t want to come to school in the morning although I’m pretty sure he enjoys it when he gets there. I try to think of fun things to do on the way in and all the things he’s going to do when he gets there. He tends to like doing things in his own time and can be very stubborn, especially with me.

 I respect his own time and am learning how to not rush him in the mornings. He’s impossible to rush anyway. Somehow we get to a point where he’s dressed and ready to come to school but it takes an enormous effort and a slow pace.  This is a challenge for me as I was brought up to be on time and I really hate being late and I really hate Zeca being late. However, it feels more important that we actually arrive and that we arrive with our relationship and our connection intact, rather than stressed out and with Zeca having been forced to come in tears.

 I’m a bit stumped as to how to proceed with this. As we spoke at Zeca’s assessment the other afternoon, I think Zeca does find it bewildering when he’s late and all the activities have started.But he doesn’t seem to have translated this into an understanding that if he listened to me encouraging him to be on time, he could avoid this.  Maybe this understanding is coming and I just need to persevere a bit.

 I hope this is useful for you and that you can find some way to encourage Zeca to be on time during the day that might make the difference to him.

 Thanks for your help and apologies for Zeca’s lateness so far


  Ceri Buckmaster

And this was the note I got from the school on 16th November 2011

 “Your child has arrived late for school 8 times since September. Please make sure that he is in the playground by 8.55am to avoid education welfare involvement.”

And a spreadsheet of his lateness for the term so far. / / / for attendance and arriving on time. L L L for attendance and lateness.

It would be really lovely to talk to someone. It would be GREAT to talk to someone so you don’t need to use that as a threat. I would love to sit down and tell you the strategies I’m using to get Zeca to school on time, how well I’m doing, how connected I feel to Zeca as the thing that seems to be working is if we have some really good play time in the morning and if I get him ready at 8am rather than 8.20 or 8.30am. I’d love to tell you all of this.

I’m glad I’m not the sort of person who would find your note rude, cold and unsupportive. You’re only doing what your computer program tells you what to do, I’m the sort of person who can understand that it’s not your fault.

Can I suggest that you do get in touch with parents who come late to school with their children, because there obviously is something going on that you might find interesting to hear about? Can I suggest that you listen to what’s going on for the family before you repeat the idea that we have to be on time because they will already know that. But you probably do not know what’s going on for the family.

I know you want to be supportive.

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