conscious parentingBack to School 2021: 3 Ways to Get Ready

14 August 2021

Hello, dear conscious parent 💟!

Our kids are going back to school next week, or in a few weeks, depending on where we live. Are you ready?

I am a firm believer that when we, the parents, are mentally & emotionally prepared for this important transition after Covid-19 crisis, we can better support our children.

Here are my TOP 3 recommendations for how to get ready:

  1. Expect and accept frequent dis-regulated behaviors: meltdowns, tantrums, raging episodes, fearful episodes, refusal to go to school, separation anxiety. This is a normal (to-be-expected! ) acting-out of the FEAR in the nervous system of your child. It’s been 15+ months of disruptions of many kinds. In order to cope, your child’s brain couldn’t relax as it used to. This hyper-vigilance, when coupled with the anxiety of returning to school, will overwhelm your child’s thinking. It is not their fault! They are not doing it intentionally or to upset you. Listen to them while they cry, or rage, and be that safe container that they need so dearly in the weeks to come.
  2. Play more, at least for a few weeks. Set aside more time than usual to play with your child – *read my article Play to Connect. We know from science that free play, laughter and child-led play release “feel-good” hormones like dopamine and serotonin- which have the power to heal fears and trauma. Furthermore, you are building trust, connection and light-heartedness. Right now, your child doesn’t need lectures and information: they need to release the tension in their body through laughter, feeling in control ( that’s why it’s child-led!), and feeling connected to you. Your warm presence is key right now.
  3. Set limits with firmness AND kindness at the same time. Most parents have a hard time setting limits properly because they equalize limits with emotional obedience. A child will naturally get upset when a limit is set – and that’s OK. We hold the limit AND listen to their emotions about the limit at the same time. I know it’s hard but it’s possible. If you are a parent who struggles with limits, I recommend that you do one or more of the following: