Help your child thrive in any situation

by Amy Hilbrich Davis

in Insights,Parenting,Parenting Tips


As your kids return to school or are just starting, take a proactive approach and find some time to talk with them. Find out what they are thinking and feeling. What are they looking forward to? Who are they most excited to see again after the long summer break? Which teacher are they most excited about? Do they have any concerns or worries?

One of your greatest objectives as a parent is to help your child manage through both the highs and lows of life.  In fact, some of the most valuable gifts you can give your child are the strategies, and tools to manage through some of life’s scarier and more challenging moments.  Heading back to school provides a great learning opportunity riddled with excitement and joy, as well as unsettling anxieties and fears.

It won’t take long for your child’s excitement, disappointments, and anxieties to spill. Your greatest challenge happens next…listening. You need to let your kids be disappointed, afraid, and anxious.  Those emotions are real, natural and healthy. Getting a “crummy” teacher is a “drag,” having no friends to sit with at lunch is “no fun”, and not having one of your friends in class does “stink!” So, instead of trying to talk your child “out” of their emotions, or fix the dilemma, why not just let them “be” and do nothing.  Let them devise the “fix.” You just encourage and praise their attempts. Problem solving is a skill and takes practice. Creating solutions helps build determination, confidence and drive. Consider these statements to encourage solutions:

Reinforce that for every problem– there is a solution.  Encourage your child to focus on solutions rather than problems. This process is powerful because it empowers and encourages confident kids. We often underestimate our kid’s capacity for critical thinking and reasoning, as well as their resiliency—don’t! Sure there are exceptions when your kids need you to step in, but let them be exceptions, not the rule.  

  • I’m certain you will come up with some great ideas to handle that one!
  • Knowing you, you’ll figure out how to make that work!
  • That would be a bummer, before you know it, you’ll have that one nailed!
  • That would be tough, if anyone can handle that, it’s you!
  • I’m confident you’ll figure that one out!

Remember, as mom, you need to “sell the fun” of the new school year. It is going to be great, especially if you approach it with confidence, optimism and excitement. You need to sell the dream of what the year can be—exciting, educational, fun, and most of all, what ever they make of it!

Knowing you Mom, you’ll be great!

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