Parents: Prepare Yourself for School
Updated: Nov 5, 2018
As the beginning of the school year approaches, I find it is helpful to not only talk about how to prepare my child for the upcoming but also how to prepare myself.
How can we as parents get ourselves ready for what is going to be a busy and challenging school year?
In talking with counselors, teachers, and parents over the years I have found a few key ingredients to starting the year on a positive note. How parents approach the beginning of the school year makes a big impact on how their children will view the upcoming year.
1. This may seem like common sense but so many parents fail to do this.
Make sure you remain calm. Children take their cues from their parents. If they feel anxiety, fear, and stress from their parents then they will begin the year with a sense of dread. Parents must manage their fear and remain calm so the children can rely on them when they need a little help managing their own fear. I am not saying to fake it and act like you are calm because kids can spot that a mile away. I am suggested that every parent needs to find a way to be calm through breathing, exercise, etc. Model to your children how to face the unknown with courage and calm.
2. Start the year with positive intent. What I mean by that is go into the school believing the best in your child’s teacher, your school, your child, and yourself. Keep this statement in mind, “What you focus on you will get more.” When you are looking for the best in others, including yourself, you tend to find it. If you go into the school year looking for ways the teacher, your child, and even yourself are going to fail, be unkind, uncaring, etc., you will find things they do to support your hypothesis and that is going to make for a very negative and contentious year for everyone involved. Treat people the way you want to be treated. I don’t know about you but I respond much better to people that believe the best in me, especially when I am not at my best.
3. Think about what goals you have for this school year. What did you do last school year that worked so well and you want to continue doing this year? What things would you like to be intentional about and change this year? For example, do you want to wake up every morning and cook breakfast for the children (I loved it when my mom did that)? Do you want to try and take the mornings a little slower and not rush so much? Would like to be more consistent with the bedtime routine at night? How about setting up carpooling with some of your children’s friends? These are just a few ideas you would want to plan now. Goal setting really helps parents feel more in control throughout the school and it really gives you a sense of accomplishment.
4. This last thought is probably the most important one.
Begin this year off with the intent to be more flexible and adaptable. Don’t be afraid to adjust if something isn’t working. The school year is going to throw your family some curveballs and how parents respond to these moments speaks volumes to your children.
I will end with this. Go into this school year knowing that it will not be perfect. The teacher won’t be perfect, neither will your children, and neither will you. Once you accept that fact you are then empowered to truly make this school year one of the best for your entire family. Everyone is going to make mistakes but how the family responds to those mistakes will determine how school year eventually pans out.
This is going to be a great school year!