5 Tips for Parents to Prepare Their Child Mentally for The New School Term
- Invite your child to talk about his/her fears, and don’t judge or belittle what your child shares
Approach this with a curious mind. What are their worries about starting school, having to make new friends or being back with the same friends again? When they talk about it, they get to clarify and hear how it sounds outside of their minds. Feeling scared and worried about something is unpleasant and totally normal. When they are invited to talk about their fears, they are able to be aware of them and share them without having to face it alone, in their heads. Avoid telling them things like “don’t think about it” or “you think too much”. Instead, say “I would probably feel that same too. What do you intend to do about it?”
- Share with them that different people pace differently academically and socially
One source of pressure and stress comes from thinking that the lives of others are easier or better. While their classmates may seem to be doing better academically or socially, it doesn’t mean that your child wouldn’t get there at all. Help your child to appreciate his or her own journey and understand that everyone paces differently. Moreover, people who seem to be at places ahead had their own journeys and no one knows for sure how much sacrifices they made or how much it had cost them.
- Nurture optimism
When a child a pessimistic, they tend to think that no matter what they do, they would never be good enough, so they stop trying whenever there is a setback. You can help to nurture optimism by encouraging them to set their own goals. Guide them to think of small, realistic and achievable goals for a start. They need to feel the ability to create goals and the sense of competency to achieve them. Another way to nurture optimism is helping them develop different angles of looking at things- think half cup empty or full. It could be about what opportunity they have when something doesn’t go well.
- Choosing friends
Making friends or even losing friends, is a huge part of schooling life which also contribute largely to their beliefs and perception in their growing years. Their world gets bigger when they start school. Though you won’t be able to help your child choose friends, you could help them with a few guidelines such as- choosing to be around people who care, people who don’t say things that make you feel small or bad yourself. If you notice that your child may be struggling with making friends, try to talk to him or her gently to find out what’s going on.
- Develop the habit of seeking help
Children tend to have the idea that they have to deal with their problems as that is a sign of being brave. Help them to understand that being courageous and strong means knowing when to seek help. You may guide them on the how-to and where-to-go in seeking help if they are able to, instead of hand-holding them there. This is also part of resilience building.