A Conversation You Can't Afford to Skip….

A Conversation You Can't Afford to Skip….

The Importance of Preparing Your Child for Back to School 🏫

As September approaches, the back-to-school season is upon us. This time brings a blend of excitement and anxiety not just for parents but also for children. With the beginning of a new school year, it's crucial to take time over the long weekend to have a heart-to-heart with your child. This becomes even more important if you've noticed recent outbursts or offhand comments that indicate internal stress.

Don't Assume, Ask

Many parents make the mistake of assuming that their children are coping well with the transition. What we must do as parents is not just assume that everything is fine. The best approach is a one-on-one conversation, where you ask your child to share any concerns, worries, or fears they might have about going back to school.

The Power of Active Listening

Once you've opened the channels of communication, the next step is to actively listen. During my workshops in schools, especially for Year 9 and Special Educational Needs (SEN) children, the focus often revolves around emotional wellness and self-regulation. As a parent, you don't have to be a mental health specialist to offer this kind of support. All you need to do is listen—really listen—to your child. Validate their feelings and confirm that you've understood what they're going through.

Sit in the Dark

As I mentioned in my recent TEDx talk, sitting in the dark with your child is about staying present during the tough conversations. It means not rushing to "fix" things but allowing the space for your child to process their emotions. Doing this teaches them vital coping mechanisms and emotional management skills.

Co-create Solutions

After listening, it's time to collaborate on finding solutions. The mantra "If it's about me, it's with me," coined by autism specialist Dee Nic Sitric, who is the founder and Director of Autism Champions., rings true here.

The best way to support your child's emotional wellness is to include them in the decision-making process.

Taking the time to prepare your child for back to school is more than just buying stationery and uniforms; it's about equipping them emotionally for the challenges ahead. This not only strengthens your bond with your child but also empowers them to handle their own well-being. And that's a lesson that will serve them for a lifetime.
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