It’s time to go “Back to School!” For some children this is an exciting time they are looking forward to. For others, “back to school” means brings fear and trepidation depending upon their previous experiences and ability to enjoy social interactions.
Although it may seem that our children’s fears are often unfounded, they are real to them and should be taken seriously.
Often times a parent’s natural reaction is to attempt to comfort the child and to minimize their fears. This may do little for the actual problem. One way that may be more helpful is to brain storm about how the problem can be fixed instead.
I suggest taking the child to speak with the teacher and get them to share their fears. Help them find ways to stay safe in the school if ever they are afraid, such as playing close to the recess supervisor or sitting up front in the classroom. Being able to say “stop” loudly enough to the bully so that the teachers and assistants can hear and become aware of what is happening or making advance plans to sit with someone familiar in the crowded lunchroom.
Problem solving is a way to empower your children and give them hope. It helps them visualize the ability to take control of a situation where they may have felt helpless in the past. Feeling empowered can help build self-confidence and teaches children it’s ok to have healthy boundaries. Healthy self esteem lowers personal anxiety in stressful situations. It also helps with integration into new environments and the confidence to make friends more easily.
My best to you and your child this school year!