Parenting Positive Kids

Carmen S
Back, Back, Back to School!
August 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

All over the United States, families are immersed in that "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" - Back to School. Moms everywhere are busy scooping up back packs and glue sticks, sharpening pencils and locating long ignored sneakers. Lines are drawn left and right through school supply lists. Lamentations have been heard for the reality of the high cost of higher math calculators. Closets are freshly scoured, jeans replenished and, everywhere, the countdown has begun.

Nerves may have also come to visit in your house.

Maybe your child had a difficult school year last year. Maybe there was bullying, or a teacher who was less than stellar. It's possible that your child was the bully, and he has a fresh desire to start this year off differently. It's quite possible that your child isn't so nervous about the "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic" - but her nerves are in shambles about the friendship aspect of school.

How do you make sure your child feels encouraged and emotionally prepared to return to school?

  • Discuss - Half of the foundation of a nervous attitude is fear of the unknown. So talk about those areas of concern. Is your child afraid of being bullied at PE? Talk about how things have been handled in the past and how your child can help them be resolved differently this year. Even if it seems like a trite matter, it's as important as the world to your child; so take the time to listen.
  • Role Play - Practice doesn't Make Perfect - Practice Makes Habit. Have your child show you how he reacted in the past, and work out scenarios to practice a better reaction.
  • Get Involved - Be present for your child at home, and make sure that he knows you are there at any time. Ask leading questions, those questions that can't be answered with a yes or no. If your schedule allows, be present in the school - volunteer. Find times that you can discuss the areas of concern with your child in a non aggressive matter; perhaps a car ride or while cooking dinner.
  • Involve others - Make sure that the others involved in your child's education - teachers, aides and the like - are aware of the areas with which your child is nervous.
  • Focus on the positive - Ask your child: What are some of the things your child is excited about for the upcoming school year? Take the time to create a list of those great things, and if a negative thought comes out to play, remind your child of the good stuff.
  • Put on a happy face - Above all, be encouraging. Your child will take her cues from you, and if you continually obsess and focus on the negative, it will teach your child that the very things she worries about are really and truly "big things". Talk about the goals that you have for your child, and ask what your child would like to accomplish, and set concrete steps to succeed with those desires.

Have you ever had to deal with a situation that makes your child nervous when he is going back to school? How did you handle it? Maybe it was you who was nervous as a youngster - how did your parents respond?

ŠiStockphoto.com/sjlocke

Replies

  • meparty
    by meparty
    August 15, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    I am nervous as anything! Middle schooler, with autism, .. I am not freaking out, but of course I am worried.  I also am kinda not worried, I made a hair appt and a breakfast out on friday.

  • Charizma77
    August 15, 2012 at 7:14 PM
    These are great ideas to keep in mind. Thank you.
  • elasmimi
    August 15, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    My dd is really excited to be going to kindergarten!

  • Kainalu55
    August 16, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    My daughter was nervous for her first bus ride to school.  We made a plan to meet her at the school and walk her to her class.  The next day she was no longer nervous, it was just the fact that she had to get used to a new situation

  • Kainalu55
    August 16, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    my daughter has started.  She loves it!

    Quoting elasmimi:

    My dd is really excited to be going to kindergarten!


  • LuvingRN
    August 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM
    My kids were and are always happy to go back.
  • Meltopia529
    August 17, 2012 at 2:44 PM

     no school aged children

  • JLewisLifeCoach
    August 18, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Love this article!  Sometimes it's hard to get  kids to open up about their school day.  ("How was school today?" "Fine."  "What did you learn?" "Nothing").  A great tip from a friend of mine  is to wait a little while after school (so they can decompress, get a snack, etc.) and then ask, "What was the best part of your day?"  "What was the  worst part?"  This has really been helpful in getting my kids to open up and discuss what  might be making them anxious.

  • sweetlyblissful
    August 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM
    I just make sure I drive her everyday and walk her to her classroom. She could go on the bus, but I drive her. It's a 30 minutes a day for me to drive her, but that's how I feel I can help her enjoy school and she misses out on those rowdy, long bus rides.
  • Gayle_Marie
    August 20, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    My 7 year old is starting second grade in a new school, which is in a new town and ALSO in a new state! We picked the neighborhood that we are living in based off of reviews of the school district and the specific school. He's had some blow ups in the past in school, little spurts of anger, and I'm concerned that the combination of all the new things and having no friends the first moment of class will lead to another blow up. At his age, it will make it REALLY hard for him to make friends. I've spent the last few weeks just talking about behaviour and how it effects relationships. We talk about what we look for in friends and if WE mimick what we look for. 

    I pray that things will go smooth for him, I know they will! He starts tomorrow so the verdict will be in soon ;)

    ~Gayle

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