Back to school – Helping your child survive the first few weeks

by Diane Rooker


back to school

How to help your child survive the first few weeks of the school year.

After raising 4 children who were all different,  I can honestly say that parenting has been the most rewarding experience ever. It’s also been the toughest on my emotions because when my kids are upset I’m sure I was hurting more than they were.

I now have the privilege of working with parents, helping them with their relationships with their children.

Beginning a new school year, regardless what year your child is entering, can be overwhelming.  There is so much going on, new teachers, friends, school subject.Their brain and sensors can become overloaded, and all the newness and unconscious negative belief systems can be having a party.  Thoughts such as:

  •  I’m not good enough
  • no one will like me
  • I’m not pretty enough
  •  I need to impress the teacher
  • I’m not able to learn like all the other kids

As humans we all have different reactions to similar experiences. Why is this so? It’s because of the life that has already been experienced and the meaning we have attached to certain events or situations. You see, we are ‘meaning making machines’ . We make meaning of situations new and old, behaviours of others, tone of voice etc.   If a person has had a previous negative experience in a situation and not dealt with that  when they have a similar experience  the old emotions will be triggered again.  Being triggered by an event or situation is our body telling us that we have some baggage to look at.  These triggers will keep on occurring until the core issue has been resolved.

Now I know that was a mouth full and may take a little while to process, but…. basically we can’t keep on pushing unresolved emotions and feelings down .  This is one of the reasons why certain kids just glide through school and others struggle.  Now I’m not saying that if your child is struggling they have unresolved issues.  It’s just one of the reasons, and I wanted to provide a bit of understanding as to why people behave in certain ways.

Behaviours your child may be exhibiting if they are not settled:

  • loss of appetite, over eating
  • not sleeping, lethargy,
  • hopelessness, anxiety
  • hyper- vigilant.
  • Fighting with parents or siblings
  • Anger
  • Sadness

If you see your child experiencing a strong emotion then the best thing to do is to reflect it back to them.  “You seem a little angry today”

What’s important is that your child is seen and heard so their emotional temperature can lower. their problem may not seem as huge, as someone has seen their pain. Just knowing that their pain has been witnessed is at times enough to lower their temperature.

Don’t Ask your child what was wrong as they’ll tell you nothing’s wrong.  Instead try saying  “ I’ve noticed that since starting school you seem a little sad” or whatever the case may be.  This gives the child the opportunity to agree or not and they may start to talk about what’s troubling them. Remember their age and keep in mind that they will only have the emotional intelligence of that age.

At times as adults we may think that the child is overreacting but for them it’s very real and painful.  Be gentle with your tone and approach, let your child know that even though they may not be in the mood to talk at a particular time,  you’re always available when they are ready.

All we can do as a parent is love them and understand that not all problems they are experiencing are going to have an ill effect on their lives. We all need to experience problems so we can grow as a person. This helps us to understand our own and others emotions, feelings , behaviours and give life skills for next time.

I wish you and your little cherubs a wonderful year.

Diane x

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