As summer comes to an end many of us go back to school and so do our children, others come back from vacation. Getting back into a routine can feel exhausting to say the least. As I think about children going back to school, a question that comes up for me is: How can I best support my child throughout the school year? Some of us are sending their children off to school for the first time. I know I felt anxious and some fear sending my child off to pre-k. An article that I came across on Psychology today talks about how we can best support our children. The author breaks it down into 3 different parts: head, heart and body. By Head the author refers to coping by incorporating positive thinking. Modeling healthy positive thinking through affirmations or highlighting strengths, it gives kids a sense of control. By Heart the author refers to being emotionally attuned to what our children are feeling and validating their feelings. Having open dialogue and letting them know that it is okay to miss home or be usure, worried, sad. Staying connected with our children and spending intentional quality time are important ways we can work on strengthening their emotional security. By Body the author refers to their bodily sensations in relation to emotions and how we can help them develop body awareness for emotional regulation. I will include a practice the author has in the article.
As practice before bed or even amid big feelings as they occur during the day, ask your child to tell you where they can feel something in their body. Is it a rock or butterflies in their tummy? A tightness in their jaw? A lump in their throat? Learning how to tune into the sensations in the body gives us the power to work with big feelings. We can take some slow, deep, calming breaths and imagine the air is reaching right to where the sensation is, or we can gently place our hands over the part of our body holding the emotion and send it some calm. We can also use the body to process and release feelings: Stomp feet, shake around, dance it out, or go for a walk.