Have No Fear, Back to School is Here!

It’s that time again! Parents rejoice as you prepare your kids for a happy and successful school year. This can be both an exciting and stressful time for parents and kids alike as they anticipate the first ring of the school bell. As parents, we do our best for our children and try to provide them with the necessary tools for success. However, sometimes we can easily overlook the non-tangible tools for their tool box. Besides the list of basic school supplies we dart to Wal-Mart & Target for the last night before school starts, we should be mentally and emotionally preparing our children for the starting school year as well. Start by creating a dialogue with your children. Talk about general interests, worries, and goals. Show them their opinions and feelings are valid and that you are actively listening. Ways to promote conversations with kids:

•    Ask open-ended questions For ex.: “Tell me about your favorite class so far this year. What makes that one better than the rest?”

•    Respond attentively

•    Use nonjudgmental tone  

•    Create environment promoting open dialogue

•    Go out for a parent/child meal 

•    Or a walk around the neighborhood

•    Or even relaxing in the pool/ at the beach

The key is to engage in an activity of pleasure to both parent and child that can be achieved easily while maintaining conversation. You will be amazed at what your child is willing to divulge when he or she feels you have a genuine appreciation for their thoughts and feelings. Maintaining open conversations with your children can help to build their self-image and boost their self-confidence. 

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