The First Day of School…For Parents Too!

Author: Debbie Houston

Debbie Houston 3For some of you, saying goodbye on your child’s first day was followed by a loud, rejoicing “Yippee!” For you, it meant actually getting to work on time, on to Heine Brothers or the gym, or finally having time for your own doctor’s appointment. For others, you let the tears flow—those you had been fighting back all morning. He is really growing up—and your questions: How did we get here so quickly? Who will help her in the bathroom? What if he forgets his homework? Will she make a friend or be alone? Can I trust that he will be okay? And all parents probably start counting the hours—we have 3 hours to run errands, 8 hours of work, or only 6 and a half hours until we get to be together again. Will the day fly by or be so very long?So what helps parents deal with those first days of new schedules, new experiences and new emotions (or even reliving some of your old feelings like they are new again)? Click below for some tips and help for you:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-parenting/post/the-first-day-of-schools-profound-impact-on-parents/2011/08/16/gIQA5N5aQJ_blog.html

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/starting-school/separation-anxiety/

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/worklifebalancingact/2012/08/working-parents-have-back-to-school-anxiety-too.html

You are helping your child by being a role model and example, by being an empathetic listener and supporter and by being an encourager. If you want your child to be confident and positive and able to take new risks, then you will model that same behavior. You will help by listening to your child and giving her the time to share (or not share) her day. You will help your child as you encourage them in their new class, with their new teachers and new friends. Yesterday’s email/blog provided many helps for your CHILD.

But what about YOU? You are helping yourself as you focus on how you can do those things to help your child, because when you do, you become a better parent, listener, supporter and encourager. Secondly, as you allow yourself to feel your own emotions you become better at processing them and being able to let them go. So go ahead and cry, just not around your child, so they don’t pick up your emotions and try to tote those and their own. Thirdly, as you go through another “letting go” of your child, you learn to trust others to care about your child too and you learn to trust your own child. You trust they will use their words to let others know what they want or need (they certainly do that with you!); you trust that they will play with someone (they certainly play at home, at the neighbor’s, at their cousin’s house and at camp), and you trust they will learn.

This school that loves and values children, gives them a voice, creates thinkers and problem-solvers, and meets children where they are and challenges them to grow and learn beyond what you can imagine trusts your children too. And remember, you are a lifelong learner and growing too! So I encourage you today to focus on trust.

Trusting you,

Debbie Houston