School is normal
Last week’s newsletter highlighted the power we have over our own emotions. We can only change or have control over ourselves. Let’s keep this in mind as we count down the days until school is starting.
The fear of the unknown, the grief of summer passing, along with the urge to be prepared and organized means that there may be a number of emotions beginning to swirl around your home. The kids want to get all they can out of the last days of summer vacation. That doesn’t mesh very well with wanting to clean out closets and get everything ready to go for school.
Often children are concerned about who will be in their class, whether they are going to get the “good” teacher and how hard it might be. They are excited to see friends and at the same time, dreading the early morning alarm clock.
Feelings happen and feelings change.
As parents, we can check in with our own feelings while also empathizing with our kids. Empathizing doesn’t necessarily mean that you accept and understand the other person’s feelings. It does include acknowledging that the other person’s perspective is just as valid to them as yours is to you.
At the same time, kids learn a lot from us. Many of them actually think we know what we are talking about. To that end, we need to be clear about the messages we are sending to our children; messages like:
I believe in you
I believe that you can handle whatever comes along
Let’s talk about how you will manage when things don’t work out as planned
Let’s imagine it all working out exactly as you wish it to
How can we make things work so that you get to play a bit more and we get organized for the new school year?
Help me to understand your strategies for being ready to go on the first day of school
The truth is, none of us is perfect all of the time and things may not go as we expect them to. The messages above can work equally well as self-talk when things don’t go as planned, or when we’ve exploded at our kids against our best intentions.
Be kind to yourself and your family. School is something that happens every year. As big and special as it seems, it is pretty normal and keeping that in mind may simplify the weeks ahead.