Monday, August 26, 2013

Recess, Bus, and Everything in Between..

We know our children are going to school.  We know they will have adult supervision...most of the time.  But what happens in between? What happens when the teacher isn't looking or the bus driver isn't paying attention?  How will your child handle challenging situations?  What if your child forgets to get off at his stop?

Teasing, bullying, fighting, and of course peer pressure are all things our children are exposed to when teachers aren't looking.  BUT before you start having a mild heart attack-think about all the opportunities for growth!  Even though these things can be scary, it can also be exciting and a tremendous learning experience.  It's important, however, that your children feel that they can talk to you about any problems they may be experiencing.

Here is a possible dialogue..

"You know Suzie, this is the first time you will be riding a school bus.  How do you feel about that?"
If Suzie says she nervous or scared...
You could say...
"That's o.k! It's normal to be scared about new things!  Mommy gets scared too.  Remember when I started a new job? I was really nervous because I wasn't sure if I would like the people I worked with or if they would like me. Remember when you first started dance classes and you held onto Mommy's leg because you were scared? What happened after you went into to dance class? Was it scary?"

These are important conversations to have with children to open the door for communication.  Of course, always remind kids that they can come to you to talk about any problems they are having at school or on the bus.  But remember that your children WILL get teased, be exposed to peer pressure, and maybe even bullied but that's ok-it's a part of growing up.

** Car rides are a great opportunity to ask your child about any issues he may be having with friends or at school-this can feel less threatening than a face to face conversation.

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