Send Kids To School With CourageAug 18, 2022
Is your child nervous about going back to school? Even when kids are excited, each year brings some new unknowns which can cause some anxiety. How we guide our kids through that anxiety is key, and is an area that I address with every parent that I coach.
I invite you to take a minute and think about your typical response when your child is hesitant of facing a new situation. Is your first instinct to reassure your child, telling them that they are going to be okay and that there’s nothing to worry about? You may even go to a past time when they were nervous and everything worked out for proof that they shouldn’t be worrying now.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t make them not worry, and believing that they shouldn’t be worrying when they are can actually heighten their anxiety. The alternative is to tell them that it’s totally normal and okay to be nervous and use it as an opportunity to help them build courage and confidence.
I watched this play out for one of the families that I coach. Their daughter was nervous about starting a sports program in the spring — she was going to be one of the younger kids there. In the past, the mom would have told her daughter that she didn’t have anything to worry about and just worked to reassure her. After discussing this in our coaching sessions, she told her daughter it was totally normal to be nervous. She shared how she too gets nervous before doing new things, and that it’s really common for most people to be nervous when facing new situations. The mom shared with me how she could visibly see her daughter relax — and that her daughter went into the building for the program without needing any further encouragement and went on to have a great experience.
The nervousness came up again this summer around a new camp experience. The mom again reminded her daughter it was totally normal to be nervous, then of how she was nervous about the spring sports program too, and how she used her courage to go. She gave her daughter a hug, and then her daughter headed off to the camp. No fights, no back and forth, and no drama.
Courage is being nervous about something and doing it anyway. We want to teach our kids about courage, because, with courage, the more new things you try, your self-confidence grows and the fuller your life becomes as you open up to new experiences.
One thing to note: the mom accepted and validated the feelings of nervousness before she talked about courage. When kids feel heard and validated, they are more likely to stay open and hear what we have to say and be open to our help.
If you find that you are often at odds with your kids, your communication with them can make all the difference in the world — and there are ways that you can communicate to get them to listen better and cooperate. If you want to end the angst and the battles, find out how I can help by lining up a free call here.
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