Your heart is racing because you’re….
You have waited all summer long for this day to come: The day you move up your social ranking latter.
This advancement means you will be picked more for activities, ridiculed less by students in upper grades and accepted more by class peers.
That is IF things go according to your elementary plans.
DO YOU REMEMBER what it felt like to be a child on the first day of school?
Do you recall how TERRIFIED you felt of everything that could go wrong?
If you are finding it hard to travel down memory lane, it is because of one of three reasons:
1. You were blessed to be the outgoing child that never worried about acceptance.
2. Your experience was so horrific as a child that you have mentally blocked out the memories.
3. You have so much going on right now in your adult life, that you can’t relate to how something as simple as a child going to school would be considered problematic.
According to the PsychologyFoundation.org,
Stress among children is estimated to have increased 45% over the past 30 years.
I don’t have to create an argument to an adult how we have stress in our lives that in some cases can become overwhelming. As parents, teachers and youth leaders we must be attentive and acknowledge the fact that kids have to deal with stressors too.
Just because the stressors are different doesn’t mean the effects aren’t the same.
My two year told me a couple of weeks ago that she was sad. When I asked her why, she replied, “Because I want to watch Caillou.”
Now honestly, my silent response was, “Really?”
The adult me with ‘bigger fish to fry’ almost verbally displayed to my agonizing daughter why not being able to watch a cartoon on the Sprout channel was indeed no reason to be sad. I could have listed at least a hundred local, domestic and international affairs that could give her a valid reason to be sad.
What would be the point? She wouldn’t have comprehended any of them.
Instead of listing all of my adult problems that could validate her emotion, I chose to get on her level and probe her reasoning for her feelings.
Now my two year old is definitely not starting grade school anytime soon. But I bet a child in grade school would ‘laugh’ at her apparent problem too. That is because he or she has grown to another level.
Train a child in the way he should go, -Proverbs 22:6
Part of training a child is showing them how to deal with their problems in a healthy way. As your child starts school this term, help them to face and deal with their fears. They might verbalize them or display nonverbal communication that will reveal they are fearful about something. Ask them questions from their perspectives and not from yours. If you can’t place yourselves in their shoes, try thinking about something that has had you in fear as an adult or might presently have you fearful; that is how they feel. Once you identify the fear you will be able to help them dismantle it.
IF YOU Downplay their emotions, it will create a barrier for them to talk to you this year about other concerns that WILL happen. Help them with their biggest fear by breaking the barrier to understanding.
Go help your child WIN this year!