Heading back to school can inspire a wealth of emotions from kids and parents alike. From anxiety over meeting new students and making friends, to meeting a new teacher and hoping they are ready for the next grade level. The good news is that there are plenty of positive steps parents and children can take to prepare for social and emotional back to school readiness. Because you signed up right here on my website. I have created this exclusively just for a you. Let’s get started!
1. Get them ready to embrace progress, not perfection this school year. How? By setting up situations to practice this. Ex: Introduce an new activity or concept, and use praise (specific behaviors in effort) the process vs. the outcome/results.
2. Discuss how to make friends. Have your child pick 5 qualities you would want in a friend and as parents ask your child to go down that list as a check off when they establish friendships. As social dilemmas arise which they will, review that list and determine if it’s best to continue a friendship of these core values are not met.
3. If your child uses Social Media- teach them to be a positive influence on their social media platform- Use the T.H.I.N.K. Acronym
T- Is it TRUE
H- Is it HELPFUL
I- Is it INSPIRING
N- Is It NECESSARY
K- Is it KIND
4. Have the bully discussion. Whether your child goes to a small school or big school, he or she may experience bullying. Remind them to not be a silent observer. If you see something say something (bullying).
Skill 1. Avoid Self-Blame. Children may think they are at fault when they’re the victims of bullying, especially if the bullies are people they’ve had friendships with. It’s important for them to remember that they are not responsible for how other people are treating them, and they should not feel guilty about it.
Skill 2. Teach our children to act with Self-Awareness, Calm, Respect, and Confidence.
People are less likely to bother you and more likely to listen to you if you walk, sit, and act with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means holding your head high, keeping your back straight, walking briskly, looking around, and having a peaceful face and body. Staying aware also helps you to notice problems so that you can deal with them sooner rather than later.
To practice, show young people the difference between being passive, aggressive, and assertive in body language, tone of voice and choice of words. Have your child walk across the floor, giving them directions on how to be successful by saying, “Walk with Calm Respectful Confidence toward (a location across the space),” and give positive constructive feedback, such as: “Now take bigger steps,” or “Look around you,” or “Straighten your back,” and “That’s great!”
Skill 3: Travel in a group during unstructured times- recess, after school, etc. Bullies are less likely to target groups vs if you are alone
Skill 4: Set Boundaries About Disrespectful or Unsafe Behavior
Skill 5: Use Your Voice
Skill 6: Protect Your Feelings From Name-Calling and Hurtful Behavior
Skill 7: Speak Up for Positive Inclusion- Be a Model
Skill 8: Be Persistent in Getting Help From Busy Adults
5. Start the process of teaching Positive Affirmation with your child. Why children should pay attention to their thoughts and notice which current patterns of behavior are working against their best interests. Here’s how to get started-
1. Positive affirmations should be spoken out loud and repeated
2. Always use the present tense when saying positive affirmations
3. Create positive affirmations that focus on the solution and not the problem ( I can go up to a new friend because…)
4. Add visualizations to your positive affirmations. Here’s how- Start your positive affirmation practice with your child by setting aside 10-15 minutes a day to repeat your positive affirmations.