Back to School Success Strategies for Parents
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Everyone feels less anxious and stressed when there is a plan. Having consistent routines before school, after school, and at bedtime helps to reduce anxiety by relieving the stress that comes from the unknown. Busy schedules can cause anxiety and tension, but when there are constants that everyone expects, like a family dinner or bedtime book, children will feel more secure knowing somebody is in control of what otherwise might feel like chaos.
Although it is difficult for parents to talk with their children about a dangerous “what if” situation, doing so is necessary. Discuss and practice age appropriate scenarios about what children should do if they are faced with various situations, such as being approached by a stranger, seeing someone get hurt, feeling sick, or being lonely at recess. Having a plan reduces panic and anxiety if those situations arise.
The ability to recover from disappointment is crucial for your child’s emotional health. Help your child learn different ways to cope with the feelings of disappointment. What do you want your children to do when faced with difficult situations? What would you do? Some healthy coping skills would be to take deep breaths, talk to a person you trust, exercise, play, listen to music, or relax with a favorite activity. Your children will grow from these experiences, especially if you are the coach.
Going to school is one of many adventures in your child’s lifetime. Relationships that nurture with clear guidance as to what is acceptable and what is not are the key. The teamwork of student, parent, and teacher provides a foundation that reaches beyond academic achievement. When children know that the significant adults in their lives have faith in them, want to listen to them, and are there to help them, they are more likely to succeed in all their endeavors.