First day of school

The 20 Most Emotional Milestones for Parents

I don’t know about you but I’m a complete sucker for ‘firsts’ when it comes to my Beans. It’s the reason I can’t bear to part with so many of their precious belongings as each one holds special memories for me and just one look at them takes me right back to that moment in time. British parents have revealed the most emotional milestone in bringing up a child is their first day at school.

In research carried out by Sainsburys of 2,000 parents of school children, they found that a third felt a mixture of excitement tinged with anxiousness, whilst a quarter of the dads said they too felt moved to tears.

First day of school

A proud eight in ten parents captured the moment with a ‘first day of school’ photo of their son or daughter proudly dressed in their new school uniform before swiftly framing it, issuing copies to other family members or for a quarter- uploading it to Facebook straightaway. Yes I hold my hands up, I was one of those Mums! Along with two of our neighbours whose children also started school on the same day. In fact, I take a photograph on the first and last day of each school year so that I can see how Little Bean has changed.

Among the other emotional milestones were a child’s first tentative steps, the first word spoken and celebrating their very first birthday.

The preparation for school starts long before the first day as results showed parents put in extra time to teach their child core skills to have them up to speed for their first day – tying shoe laces, telling the time and basic writing skills were the trickiest to teach.

The countdown to that all important day starts a whole month before for over 1.5 million parents already shopping for school uniforms, bags, lunch boxes and stationery, while 10 per cent are focused more than two months before that very first day.

Yesterday John Carolan, Head of Buying for Tu childrenswear at Sainsbury’s said: ‘’Many parents and mothers in particular clearly view their child’s first day at school as the main sign that their baby has grown to a child.

‘’Understandably it can be a huge wrench to say goodbye to them at the school gate as the results show that it’s a day mum never forgets.

‘’It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and time put into equipping that child from ensuring they have the skills to set them up for life, and in the weeks or even months of preparation that goes into getting them the uniform and equipment they need to flourish at school.

The research detailed the depth of emotion for parents around their child’s school years and compiled the 20 biggest moments. The study also found a new family’s first Christmas together and seeing a child take to the stage for the first time in a school play inside the top 10 of the most-cherished parenting moments.

Other moments that parents really savoured were seeing their young one write their own name for the first time, ride a bike or swim unaided.

School Report

And many will always save the very first school report they got for their child which featured as one of the 20 most emotional parenting milestones – their first?! I will be keeping every single one of them. There is a reason we have a double garage you know!

But it’s that very first day that sticks with mums most and the whirlwind of emotions was evident with more than half bursting with pride the moment they dropped their child at the school gates or marvelling at how quickly the time had passed. John Carolan, Head of Buying for Tu childrenswear at Sainsbury’s added: ”The first day of school is a huge milestone in a child’s life.

”It marks the first opportunity for your child to go out and have a go at something new by themselves and this is bound to make any parent feel proud.

‘’To make parents’ lives easier at this highly emotional time, we have a Back To School range of durable, high quality uniforms at surprisingly affordable prices.

‘’With an extensive range of school uniform, school bags, lunch boxes and stationery, we are firmly committed to providing parents with quality products that will last the entire school year, no matter how lively your little angels are.’’

For more info visit –

1. First day at school
2. First steps
3. First word
4. First birthday
5. First day at nursery
6. First Christmas
7. First crawl
8. First nativity/school play
9. First time riding a bike
10. First swim
11. First time writing their name
12. First holiday
13. First time reading words
14. First tooth
15. First solid foods
16. First sports day
17. First school report
18. First parents evening
19. When they became fully potty trained
20. First time they counted to ten


What do you think? Are there any milestones which you feel have been missed out? I’d love to hear your thoughts . . .

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