In the midst of all the business of the school year, it is just as important to ensure your child’s emotional and mental well-being. You can do this my journeying with your child as he goes through his experiences in school.
Here are some things that you can do to guide your child throughout the school year:
1. Constant Communication
Take a moment everyday to have a conversation with your child about his thoughts and feelings about his daily experiences in school: What were the happiest moments during his day? Does he have any questions or worries that you can help him with? How are his interactions with the different people in school (e.g., classmates and teachers)? How does he feel about meeting new people and gaining new experiences? What are some of the things that he is looking forward to about school?
Some children do not voluntarily talk about their thoughts and feelings. It will be helpful to find time to communicate with them in order to have an idea of what they are experiencing. Pay attention to the words they use, even their body language, as these may reveal to you how they are.
In moments when your children express worries about school, it may help to communicate with their school teachers to find ways on how these may be addressed.
2. Encourage Openness
For some children, trying new activities can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but to others this can be the opposite. Some do not easily respond to changes and new things because it entails stepping out of their comfort zone, opening oneself to things that may seem unfamiliar, and so they feel uncomfortable and in some ways unsettled because they may not know what the outcome of these new experiences will be. This can leave them feeling anxious and scared.
As adults, we know that stepping outside of one’s comfort zones can lead to great possibilities such as developing new skills, experiencing enjoyable activities, meeting new friends, etc. Encourage your child to try new things by exploring on little changes that he can make. (For instance, if you would like to encourage your child to be make new friends, he can start playing with a few kids at a time.)
You and your child can talk about the little changes that he is willing to make in order for him not to feel as though he is being forced, and to also allow him to feel more empowered especially when he can see that his opinion matters.
3. Celebrate Successes However Small
“It’s not heaps of superficial praise from a parent that builds a child’s confidence, but regular encouraging words that draw out a child’s own thoughts on the experience.” Experiencing new things can be a big step for a child and we can help encourage them by acknowledging their everyday successes, however small. Once he realizes that he is capable of handling the small things, he will be more ready to handle bigger new things.
4. Provide Assurance and Security
Hand in hand with giving them praises and celebrating little victories comes the assurance that even in times of shortcomings, you will be by their side to help them learn and stand back up again. There will be many opportunities for success, but there will also be opportunities to make mistakes. They need to know that moments of shortcomings are chances for them to learn, and these are not for them and others to doubt their abilities.
At the end of the day, your child must understand that there is no problem too small or too great that they need to go through on their own, and for every problem, there are people around to help them go through it.
Do remember that every child is unique in his adjustments, and thus, some may adjust easily, and others may take a while. If after a while you find that your efforts have not been fruitful, wait. Perhaps your child simply needs time and soon, he will slowly ease into all these changes and discover for himself the joy of all the new things that will come his way.
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extracurricular activities. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/