Parents spend hundreds of dollars on new school uniforms, school shoes, stationary and other essentials for their children at the beginning of the school year. All this emphasis on the physical needs of your children, yet what about their psychological and emotional needs? What can be done to provide our children with the emotional stamina, resilience and inner calm to traverse the journey that lies ahead? How can parents foster this, and allow for children to feel a sense of inner mastery, competence and satisfaction? How can children feel less overwhelmed, stressed and anxious?
All children have a mind, and if they learn how to use their mind properly it will be their best ally. If children have the belief that they are not good enough, are unable to succeed or cannot do something, then that is the message their mind holds. And it is that belief that drives their behaviour, their actions. So parents the kind of language that is needed is one that is positive, encouraging, and empowering and one that fosters a growth mindset. Children can be shown that some skills evolve and that they might not have that skill YET, but with practice and perseverance, they can learn that skill. Children can be shown that failure is not the be all and end all, but rather an opportunity to learn, to get help. Failure doesn’t define anyone, and one who has never failed is one who has never tried! Failure is merely a stepping stone to future success.
Encourage children to participate in team activities, to belong and have a sense of community. Social connectivity is vital especially today when kids are being drawn to technology and are less orientated to physical face- to- face connectivity. Allow children to mix outside their daily social groups and broaden their horizons. This idea of connectivity can also be in the home. Making time to have family dinners to talk about the day and other experiences is essential, and a good time for uninterrupted attention.
Focus and concentration are big barriers to school competency or success. Teaching children how to shut down, switch off and wind down is vital. Teaching children pro-active relaxation techniques such as self-hypnosis, mindfulness, tapping, and breathing exercises can equip your child to combat stress and in so doing improve learning outcomes. These skills are easy to learn, effective and are life-long skills.