The beginning of a new school year can be stressful for children as well as parents. I have a few tips to help you and your child get off to a good start.
- Help your child learn confidence by showing confidence. Give hugs and listen, then tell your child you love them and that they will be okay. Help your child build his or her confidence by showing them that you have confidence in them and their ability to handle the situation.
- If you drive your child to school, leave quickly! If your child sees that you are also upset by his or her behavior, this sends a message that there really may be something wrong with school and that school is a place to fear. Say your goodbyes and leave, your child will stop crying very quickly after you are gone.
- Never allow your child to stay home if they are afraid of school and/or throw a tantrum. If allowed to stay home, your child may begin to see that his or her behavior truly works and if they cry, scream, and throw tantrums, they will succeed! Even when it is breaking your heart to see them cry, please put on your best smile, act as if you are putting on an academy award winning performance, and say you know they will be fine.
- Limit television and video games. If your child is allowed to spend long periods of time watching action movies and playing fast paced racing and/or fighting games, sitting at a desk at school doing math problems or listening to books being read will convince him that school is “boring”. Go for walks, read together, let them tell you about their days. Talking about what they have learned will build confidence and help them understand that you place importance in learning.
- Let them wind down after a full day of school. Over scheduling children puts added stresses on them. Consider one special activity rather than 3 or 4. If children are allowed to spend some quiet time, they will be able to concentrate on getting homework done. Overnight visits with friends on school nights is not usually a great idea either.
- Show interest in what they are learning. Talk about the things they are learning and how it can be used in everyday life. (Adding, subtracting, and multiplying at the grocery store, for example).
Remember, good grades are important, but so is good character. Your child will display behavior that you have modeled for him or her. They will “do as we do” much more often than “do what we say”. Help your child become the kind of person that others like to be around. You will never be sorry. Have a great year at Copopa and please don’t hesitate to email me or call if you or your child needs my assistance. I can be reached at [email protected] or 236-5020.