Back to School – Beautiful Chaos
Beautiful chaos – from the nervous smiles of parents, to the calm presence of the teachers, to the excitement of the kids, every first day – from kindergarten through college, is full of apprehension, uncertainty. People of all ages are looking for that fresh start, with new perspectives and intentions. What can we do to prepare ourselves? Our families? Let’s look at these strategies to make this year, the BEST year, all year long. Model these strategies and encourage your child/teen to engage in them also:
- Gather yourself – rest, eat, exercise – do something for yourself each day.
- Be intentional – Think through realistic expectations. Address the specific actions to meet these expectations.
- Be self-aware – awareness of stress and tiredness will allow you to take action to address it before it becomes detrimental. Have self-compassion; expect mistakes and growth. Nobody is perfect.
- Communicate clearly– Decipher between your needs and wants. Use “I statements” to communicate these to others.
- Prioritize what needs to be done, prepare for the upcoming event, perform – give it your best effort.
- Be silly, spontaneous, simpleminded. We all need this from time to time.
- Connect with others– support those we care for. Accept support from them.
- Belong to something. Band, sports, scouts, clubs. Being a part of something fulfills us.
This list is not easy! Taking care of ourselves will allow for a better chance at success when challenges arise. Using these strategies is like putting on a suit of armor each day. They keep us resilient and strong through challenging times.
Even with a suit of armor and a supportive family, students of all ages can find themselves in a place of turmoil, struggle, fear and failure. Some students feel stuck, unable to escape the madness they feel each day. Some common school struggles are:
- Perfectionism, fear of failure
- Learning difficulties
- Time management and organization
- Social connections. Lack of friends and/or bullying
- Peer pressure
- College, career, planning for next steps
- Stress management
- Depression and anxiety
Identifying the root of the problem is key to moving forward to healing and growing. Sometimes children, teens and young adults are unaware of the beliefs that drive their behavior. Exploring these core beliefs in a non-judgmental and genuine atmosphere will allow any person to grow in a positive way. A counselor can explore these areas with your child or family. Feel free to reach out to schedule a session. Sessions can be fun, rewarding and beneficial for individuals and families.
When we care for ourselves, we are resilient, have more grit and take more risks. We, and our children, will be more likely to achieve and grow stronger through the struggles. Let’s care for ourselves and each other this school year and make this school year the best it can be.
Thriveworks Counseling and Life Coaching