Questions, worries and uncertainties often accompany starting new things. If your child expresses some concerns about the start of school, consider these approaches to help:
Play the curious detective: “Hmmm, can you tell me more about that?”
When children pose things to their parents that look like problems, the tendency of mom and dad may be to try to fix it or make it go away. However, sometimes what they need is just for grown ups to listen. If you child poses a “what if?” regarding school in the fall, try saying “thanks for telling me about that. What else are you thinking about?”
By encouraging children to expand on their own thoughts and broaden the window into their world, parents can gain better understanding of their unique experiences. And, this sets a wonderful foundation for parent-child communication, as children learn that they can share any of their thoughts and they will be welcomed and heard. This will be a great foundation for relating in their teen years!
Serve as a mirror of super powers
By the time we are adults, new experiences can still trigger worries, but past successes help adults deal with those insecurities and tackle new ventures despite uncertainty.
By helping your children gather their past successes, you help them see themselves as competent for this next chapter. Give them the words to see the super powers they possess and use in their every day lives:
- What new experiences have your children had? Did they go to a music class or a sports clinic? Did they meet a new friend in your neighborhood or park?
- When has your child been nervous? Was she scared to dunk her head underwater the first time or go off the diving board this summer? Was he worried going to camp or doing a sleepover at grandma’s house?
- Where has your child experienced mastery? Did he learn to ride a bike or how to dress himself?
Use these weeks leading up to school to purposefully seek and notice competencies, they will see themselves as super heroes of their own lives by the time school starts. Need some ideas? Try these little ideas available in every day life:
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I'm a mom of four children, a wife, and a Licensed Professional Counselor. My parenting life helps me be a better counselor, and my professional experience helps me be a better mom. Both allow me to be creative, to learn and grow, to make mistakes, and to rarely sleep. I love the beach and gardening, reading if I can stay awake, running (which these days is after my kids and not much else), and using humor through it all!
DISCLAIMER: This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice, legal advice, or professional services. If you feel that you have a medical problem, you should seek the advice of your physician or health care practitioner.