September is just around the corner – Starting School
After a long summer break, it can be challenging to get back into a new routine. While we pack up our kids’ backpacks with lunches and snacks for the next day, pack an extra pair of clothes, and pencils, we often forget to that kids carry an “emotional backpack”.
Kids will face many ups and downs during the day: separation anxiety, struggles making friends, school work , or even boredom. Although these things can be hard and challenging, they are not in themselves harmful.
Resilient children can roll with the punches and even after being discouraged or upset can dust themselves off and pick themselves up after a big setback. What builds up their ability to do this is their connection with you.
The most important thing for a child is their sense of connection with you.
3 ideas to build CONNECTION with your child:
Ask to join in their play. Let them take the lead and be the boss. Giving opportunities for kids to take charge can boost their self-esteem and sense of control in their world. In school, there are rules and expectations that kids are expected to follow for hours. Offering a time where they “call the shots”, can be a break and it tells them you care to spend time with them. It can also provide a time to decompress and recover from a long day. You may see them work through tough scenarios that happened throughout the day. Perhaps a teacher misunderstood a situation between your child and another child and your child was wrongfully blamed? Perhaps they had a fight with their best friend? It will give you a lot of insight as to what happened during their day.
Take time to laugh together. One of the quickest ways to get rid of stress for kids (and adults) is to laugh. Sharing a laugh builds a sense of connection. (If you have seen the movie Inside Out – it is like going to Goody Island).
Acknowledge separation and relationship. When you are see your children first thing in the morning, acknowledge and greet them. Physical contact like a hug, a touch on the shoulder or arm starts off their day with a moment of connection with you. When words like “ I love you” are paired with touch like a hug or a hand on their arm, their brains can “feel” what you are saying compared to just saying “I love you” with no touch.
-Yumiko Kakutani, AIDP