School is right around the corner. Some children will be excited and others will be disappointed. Not only will schedules get full and busy, but stress and anxiety levels will likely rise. How can you help reduce that for your child? Here are some tips:
- Learning Curves. Kids are literally learning something new every day. That is a FAST pace. Keep an eye on your child. If it’s too fast, talk to the teacher right away and see what they can do to adjust it. Look at the big picture and work with the teacher to get the lessons in without undue stress.
- Teacher Contact. It’s important when you make contact with the teacher, that you do it in a way that does not embarrass your child. It gets especially touchy in the middle and high school years. Talk to your child first to understand what would be embarrassing and to find alternative ways to support her. Create a win/win.
- Respect. You will not always see eye-to-eye with the teachers or administration. That’s okay. Stay focused and be respectful. Your job is to advocate for your child and make sure the learning experience is healthy for mind, body and spirit. If your child is stressed out, respectfully work with the teacher towards balance.
- Comparing. This is a new school year with new challenges. Try not to compare your children to each other, to you when you went to school, or even to what they did last year. Meet them where they are today.
- Teamwork. It’s important to work as a team. Take the time to see your child’s classroom, teacher and the projects they are working on periodically. Teachers need to know that you participate in your child’s school life. Even more important is that your child knows you care and will be there for him. Healthy and regular communication between home and school makes a huge difference.
- Listen. There is more stress in school now than ever. If your child starts pushing back on homework, attending school and/or other activities, it’s not a time to push harder; it’s a time to sit down and start asking questions (kindly). Too many kids commit suicide because they believe their parents and other adults don’t understand and there is no hope. Learning to listen well is essential.
- Slow Down. Don’t find ways to force your child into a faster pace. This world is already moving too fast. As a parent, you must be part of the slowing down process. Children need time to breathe, relax and enjoy childhood. You can help make that happen.
- Sick Days. Teach your child self-care early by letting them stay home when they are not feeling well. Negotiate with the teacher for make-up and be willing to fight for full credit. Kids are burning out and turning to substances to keep going. You have the power to stop that.
Parents have the ability to change the speed and the way in which their children are learning. When teachers AND parents are pressing on students about school, the kids feel nothing but pressure. Home needs to be a safe haven. They need someone to ensure they are being treated fairly and have a balance in their life. Parents can impact the depression, anxiety and stress that plagues our children today by simply becoming advocates for a more balanced lifestyle. Parents are the ones with the power to make that happen!
Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She provides parenting classes, teen programs and individual coaching. She is known for her practical parenting style and can be reached directly at 951-240-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.alovingway.com