Goodbye Summer, Hello School Year

Aug 11, 2021

It’s that time of the summer again!  Some have already begun school and some of us are just a few short weeks away. During the typical back-to-school season, both parents and kids struggle a bit with the looming expectations and stressors ahead.  This back-to-school season is no different AND we still are grappling with our concerns over COVID.  Some kids are eager to return and some may be a bit apprehensive.  

Taking some time to plan ahead both with and without your child will help make the transition go a bit more smoothly.  With that being said, expect some bumps in the road so that you’re not caught off guard.  And take a look at how Conscious Parenting and Collaborative Problem Solving® can help.

Accepting the child you have.

And letting go of the child we thought or wished we would have. Different kids need different things. It’s important we support our kids based on their specific needs.   Some children tend to be high achievers while others tend to be more lackadaisical about their academic performance.  Some children become highly anxious and become sullen and withdrawn while others who are highly anxious are agitated and reactive.  Honoring and recognizing your child’s strengths and challenges will allow your child to strive for progress rather than perfection. 

What empathy really means.

If we have our own agenda then empathy is a technique we use to try and get our children to do what we want.  When kids struggle with their behavior, there is a bias that parents think the behavior is wilful; that they’re doing this on purpose to get something or get out of something. When we come from a place of curiosity and compassion, we forgo our agenda and we focus on the perspective of the child.  Being empathetic is a process of understanding and a process of communicating with both parties engaged and empowered.  Listen for understanding, not for figuring out a solution.

Get proactive, together.

Why wait until the school year begins and you’re in the middle of homework expectations, sports requirements and other day-to-day stressors to figure out a plan of action?  Let’s get ahead of the game.  Did your child keep forgetting things at school last year?  Did your child consistently fail to get up on time for school?  So what’s the plan for this year?  When a child is struggling to meet expectations we have to remember students do well if they can. So let’s listen! What’s getting in their way? of meeting expectations? Understand their perspective, their point of view, what’s hard for them and then you can share your perspective. Finally, you can put your heads together to collaborate to solve the problem. In a collaborative way, together, you and your child can come up with a plan to proactively addresses some of the challenges that may arise.   

Brains learn best when they feel calm.

As we partner with our children this year and we come upon challenging situations, it’s important to remember that when our children feel calm, they are more likely to tolerate frustration, be flexible, communicate effectively and problem solve. Our goal as parents is to help our children succeed so that we can leverage their natural desire to be successful and not go down the punitive path. So let’s be their partner and move away from punishments and rewards and instead work together to collaboratively problem solve. 

Cheers to a new school year with many opportunities!