This year going back to school feels different for many families. Some are going back to school and others are staying home for school.
A few years ago, an author colleague and I both had sixth grade girls and desired to better prepare them emotionally. Here is what we found to be the top three worries of back-to-school children and a few possible solutions.
Children worry if they’re going to be smart enough or able to handle the unexpected. They worry about how to handle making new friends and peer pressure and academic success.
Here are a few tips:
1. Handling the Unexpected: Involve your kids in the preparations. Parents can remind children of the tough things they’ve faced and succeeded in before. Then both can search for solutions. One of the best ways to prepare kids is to practice possible situations in a safe place like home. Create a pretend problem, then role play how to best handle it.
2. Friends and Peer Pressure: Have your child ask him or herself, “What would my bold self do or say in this situation? What would (confident person they admire) say? What if I knew I would be totally successful in this moment/experience/situation?” Then encourage them to consider which choice to make and action to take. Kindness is key. Kids are people too and ultimately, kindness gets respect and often a pass that other kids don’t experience. Encourage your child to ask in a difficult situation, “What is the kind thing?”
3. Academic Success: Let your kids know they are not stuck with one option, but they need to keep seeking to find a fit. Success in life is not a ready-made experience; we have to work for it.
Try talking together about one of these top concerns to find out how prepared your child is for school. Opening a discussion and seeking solutions will better prepare your child for a successful school year.
What are your top tips to get ready for Back to School?