The start of a new school year is an exciting time for students, teachers and parents alike, while at the same time, often filled with anxiety. Teachers get a new batch of students who they are charged with the task of not only teaching, but also of cultivating an emotionally and physically safe environment for. Students are faced with new learning challenges that include the academic and social spectrums.
And then there’s you, the parent, who sends your child into the hands of an educational institution with the hope that while away, your child will experience happiness and have his or her educational and social needs fulfilled.
For many parents, the role played in their child’s education is often a challenging one. You want to be there for your child, while at the same time, let him or her have experiences without you. You want to trust the teachers, but you know your child, and believe that you know what’s best for him. You want to trust that your child will do well and behave, but you know he or she at their best and worst, and sometimes fear the worst.
With these worries in mind, it is difficult to let go of the reigns and trust in a process that isn’t perfect. It’s hard to know when to take a step forward, when to step back, and how to strike that perfect balance. Many parents struggle this time of year with the transition back to school that can be remedied by following these four tips:
Acknowledge the Reason(s) for Your Anxieties
Perhaps it’s your first child you’re sending to school. Maybe your child has struggled in the past with school, and you worry it will happen again. Possibly you had a difficult time in school, be it elementary, middle or high school, and you fear the same outcome for your child. Whatever the reason or reasons, take time to acknowledge them so that you can begin moving toward a positive solution.
Communicate Openly with Teachers
If you have a concern, your child’s teacher needs to know about it if it’s going to have any chance of being addressed and/or fixed. Maybe your child struggles with paying attention. Your child could struggle academically but be a genius in the arts. Perhaps your child had a traumatic event happen to him that may trigger undesirable behavior patterns or outbursts. You know your child better than anyone. By communicating this knowledge, you can help his teacher better understand your child and in turn, teach him.
Keep an open communication with your child
Have an open and ongoing conversation about the goals your child has set, and what it will take to get there. Take time to revisit these goals and set new ones. Communicate your expectations with a heavy dose of love, support and acceptance.
Be a support to your child
As much as you want to control the outcome of your child’s education, it is ultimately his or her responsibility to set goals toward a desired outcome. Guide with a gentle reign, pulling back when necessary and letting go entirely when the situation calls for it. After all, it is your child’s future to make, and futures come in many wonderful varieties with countless roads to get there.
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