It has been a fun, relaxing summer with our families but as August meanders along, the upcoming school days are looking better all the time. Until…we stop and remember everything that has to be done to get our children and ourselves ready for that first day of school and through the month of September. You can feel the anxiety rising just thinking about it! For parents, our initial thoughts are getting school supplies, the incessant paperwork, lunches, scheduling after school activities, homework, and getting up early again. The stress! More importantly as parents, we also need to help navigate and manage the stress and the transition into the school year for our children. How can we do that? Start by treating this year as a fresh start and be open to new possibilities. Because of different curricula and teachers, your child’s school experience may not present the same challenges both socially and academically as last year. Also remember that even a few months can trigger a huge maturational spurt. Summer experiences may contribute to new skills or confidences. We all deserve a chance to have a clean slate and start anew. Make it a positive experience.
For those of us who have children moving into the middle school years, the transition can present new challenges that derive from the push and pull of our children struggling for independence as they move towards adulthood while still being a child. However, they do still need the boundaries and supervisory role of a parent at this age. Let’s remind our children that we are there to help them understand and figure out what they are seeing and hearing from other kids. We can give them our perspective, start the conversation and let them think formulate their thoughts. Always keep the lines of communication open to continue the discussion and for them to feel comfortable coming back to us with questions or just to talk. It is an ongoing journey with curves and bumps but one that we can all navigate with the right tools.
–Mary & Claire