3 The benefits of a successful school experience: Opportunities to develop and practice new skills Important chances for success and mastery Being acknowledged and praised for talents Fostering close relationships with classmates The jitters- it’s normal! What are common worries for young children? The adjustment phase School is here!
4 Good physical and mental health Review all of the information Mark your calendar Buy school supplies early Re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines Turn off the TV Looking after the basics
5 Leave plenty of extra time in the morning Clear your own schedule Involve your child in preparing: clothes, lunches, schoolbag. Send a brief note to your child’s teacher Familiarize yourself with the other school professionals Tips for preparing your child
7 Sometimes children’s worries persist despite our best efforts What kinds of behaviours to look for? Being clingy or not letting go Crying or getting upset Not talking or being quiet Not making eye contact Becoming oppositional Why does this happen? Temperament, Modelling and Parenting When the worries persist…
Parenting traps! Helping and protecting the child Providing excessive reassurance Being too directive or overinvolved Permitting avoidance Becoming impatient Parents’ anxieties getting in the way
Helping and protecting your child Buying into or accepting your childs’ apprehension about school Need to help kids learn from their own mistakes and develop greater autonomy and independence Consider this scene: preschool holiday party
Too much reassurance What does reassurance look like? When is the reassurance too much? Children (especially young children) who are nervous about the beginning of school have difficulty relying on themselves for reassurance “Like water off a duck’s back”
Too much reassurance When worries about school are present and parents provide A LOT of reassurance, it actually creates more worry! Parents send the message that there is really something to be afraid of Reassurance is a form of positive attention – in essence you might be rewarding worry
Being too Directive and Involved Sometimes it’s easier to take over! How much is too much? Are you doing this more than other parents? Children learn best by making their own mistakes
Permitting Avoidance When kids are nervous they try to avoid things that make them feel nervous Sometimes parents give in and let children avoid things The long term consequences of this are not helpful, and children won’t have the opportunity to overcome their worries
Becoming impatient Its easy to become impatient and angry with an worried child Nothing parents do seems to help It backfires! This only serves to make them more frightened and dependent
Parent anxieties getting in the way Parents of inhibited children often share some fears Taking a step back from their own experience. Try to develop an awareness of their own fear so that it doesn’t interfere with managing their child
Parenting truths! Rewarding brave behaviour Ignoring behaviours that you don’t want Prompting the child to cope constructively Modelling brave behaviour
Rewarding Brave Behaviour Be on the lookout for when your child does things that are frightening for them Rewarding your child with praise and attention for this, will make brave behaviour more likely to happen again. Push your child to do things that are a little scary for them- reward the effort.
Ignoring Unwanted Behaviours Remove your attention and attend again when the nervous behaviour has stopped. Very useful tool for excessive reassurance seeking. Your child should always understand the unacceptable behaviour and what he/she needs to do to regain parent attention.
Prompt your child to cope It’s important for you to stay calm and relaxed and be supportive to your child However instead of focusing on feelings of distress the attention should be placed on how to solve the problem This is more likely to encourage children to cope with their anxiety on their own. Avoid jumping in too soon!
Modeling brave behaviour Children learn by observing (Bandura 1969, 1986) Children are often fearful of similar things their parents are. It’s important to become aware of your own fears and make steps to overcome them, as it demonstrates coping and how to act in brave and confident ways
23 Begin preparing early to start your child off on the right foot Engage parenting strategies that promote resiliency: Reward brave behaviour Ignoring behaviours that you don’t want to see Prompt your child to cope constructively Modelling brave behaviour Expose rather than protect your child to their worries Summary of tips