If you live in the United States, summer vacation is over; a new school year starts next week. This transition is difficult for both children and parents.
Here are 7 ideas to smooth the transition from summer vacation to “back to school” in a way that’s connecting, fun and effortless:
1. Expect tantrums and emotional episodes.
- don’t be surprised by excessive dysregulation (crying, aggression, sadness, withdrawal, lack of cooperation, etc);
- be prepared to listen and hold space for your child without judgement; ( *read my previous articles on how to listen well);
2. Expect you to feel overwhelmed and even mentally exhausted.
- summer vacation was fun, but also “a lot of work”: trips, outdoor activities, family reunions, and lack of sleep- it all feels like you had no break at all;
- pay attention to your mental and emotional states often during the day; take a deep breath and pause for 3 seconds before you react;
- ask for help from the other parent, family and friends- whenever possible;
3. Be OK with GOOD ENOUGH.
- it is OK if you haven’t bought all school supplies on the list because the stores ran out of supplies; you will buy the rest in the next one week or so… your child’s teacher probably doesn’t need everything in the first week;
- adopt “It’s good enough!” in all tasks that you feel overwhelmed by;
4. Have a Connection Plan for the next 7-10 days.
- your child needs extra attention to feel supported and safe in this transition;
- plan for connection time each day; even 10 minutes will make a difference;
- you can offer Special Time to your child every day, or play with him/her with undivided attention and total enthusiasm for that short time; (*read my previous articles on Special Time and Play to Connect);
5. Take a break from social media this week.
- numerous studies show the negative impact of social media on our mental health because it prompts comparisons- which usually result in us feeling “less than”;
- in case you feel the urge to post your perfect 1-st day of school pictures- ask yourself WHY? Why am I posting? What need of mine am I looking to satisfy by posting? ( *read my previous article called 7 Lessons I ‘ve Learned in 3 Days of NO Social Media)
- as an alternative, you can send photos to your family and close friends via private messages;
6. Make SLEEP a priority for the entire family, starting with YOU.
- when we sleep the brain does the vital work of self- cleaning and replenishing with new energy;
- sleep- deprived humans (young and old) become “thinking-impared”: children will have a hard time listening and following instructions; parents will have a hard time being patient, playful and calm;
- aim at minimum 7 hours/night for you; 8-9 hours/ night for your children;
7. Practice GRATITUDE for your children.
- a lot is happening in the world right now; your life may not be where you would want it to be ( yet!), but if you and your children are healthy, that’s all you need right now;
- remember not to get caught in the “race to nowhere”; keep the big vision in mind;
- make it a daily practice to tell your children that you love them and that you are grateful for being their mom or dad;
- create a gratitude ritual as a family.
I am gifting you with the Founding Member $$$ price if you join my Conscious Parent Accelerator Program in August.
- 2 live coaching calls with me every week- worth more than 10,000$/ year – with no expiration date
- 8 modules of trauma- informed educational material – lifetime access
- a community of like-minded parents to support you
- my personal support in your parenting journey and personal growth.
“When I initially connected with Mihaela, I was not sure what to expect. I was trying to heal from a difficult divorce from a narcissist, dealing with the aftermath of broken pieces, all while trying to keep it together for my 5 year old daughter. I didn’t know how to handle the extreme aggressive outbursts, excessive tantrums, and what seemed like disrespectful disobedience coming from my baby. I felt defeated and not equipped enough to handle it.
Working with Mihaela made me realize that those episodes were my daughter’s cries for help. She is feeling the effects of the divorce as well and so young that she doesn’t know how to handle it. Mihaela has been amazing. She has challenged me to see things from a different perspective. She has helped me to realize that a lot of the frustration or anger I was experiencing from others is just a mirror of the work I need to do, but most importantly she has helped me create a stronger bond with my daughter. I have learned better ways to deal with my emotions which in turn helps me to help my daughter with hers.
She is tough, but in the best way possible, because she is doing her job. She does not sugar coat. She is firm in her beliefs and stands 100% confident in her work, especially since she has been through it and done it herself. She is intelligent, challenging, thought provoking, caring, passionate, and supportive.
I highly recommend Mihaela and her conscious parenting program. Thank you, Mihaela for your continued support and guidance! Words cannot express enough the value you have provided to me and my daughter! ” ( J.)
“Hi Mihaela! I just wanted to say how grateful I am for the listening time you offered a couple of weeks ago. I was in a very difficult position having to handle a super difficult situation and my therapist was away on holiday. I found a lot of comfort in what you said to me, and it made a huge difference because I couldn’t handle it on my own and I had to be at my best for the next couple of weeks. Please don’t tell my therapist I cheated on him; I want to tell him myself 😉” (G.)