The middle of summer is a never-ending mix of excitement and relaxation for families. At least, that’s the theory. Realistically, family life is still stressful in the summer, especially if you’re juggling camps, activities, work schedules and just getting dinner ready. But take heart, some of that will be alleviated when school starts again. (Settle down, parents; it’s not cool to cheer in front of the kids.)
School is good for parents for many reasons: having a regular routine, knowing where your kids are, not scrambling for child care, and even providing relief from the pressure (mostly self-inflicted) to keep kids entertained. But the start of school often causes anxiety for parents whose child has a history of acting out; a reputation of troublemaking can doom those kids before the first bell.
Scholl and labeling
In today world, the counseling session start with conversations about labeling. Everyone sees the world through the filter of previous experience, so if a teacher has a new student diagnosed with, say, ADHD, it’s normal to assume that child will act like other ADHD students they’ve had. But labels become more than just a descriptor; people often assume the label defines someone’s character. They refer to the “ADHD kid” as if this is all they are. But that changes when we also look for the strengths and abilities of “troublemaking” kids.
It helps to meet with your child’s teacher before the school year begins. After all, who knows your kid better than you? You’re the ultimate resource for what helps your child succeed. Help the teacher build a positive story for your child that counters the negative stories they’ve heard from others.
So notice the good things about your kids as they play in the pool. Observe the positive coping skills that keep them calm while playing in the backyard. Those details will help create a narrative that gets the school year off to a good start.
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