The fall season is a time of change for all of us, but especially for students and their parents. The flurry of back to school preparations can bring a great excitement and sadness. Fall naturally is the time of reflection and introspection which seems to contradict our cultural ritual of beginning a new school year.
It all starts out with the fun part, buying new clothes and shoes, new supplies, then moves to arguing with your children about getting that new hair cut, now finding yourself beginning to think about how little Johnny got picked on last year, or that Cindy had a very difficult time getting along with her teacher which lead to poor grades and how every thing is so expensive these days… how on earth are you going to manage buying those new designer clothes that your kids are never satisfied with let alone pay the rent, mortgage or tuition that your lazy good for nothing ex hasn’t helped with in years and you are way too fat or ugly to…As you can see, your thoughts can easily get out of hand.
Surrender is Control
John Dullaghan, a documentary film maker, who has a fourteen year old in school, put into words what many parents feel,” The anxiety or worries don’t all settle in on September 1st. It’s a gradual process of recognizing the impact of the world on your child. There is a lack of control that’s scary.” Because stress comes from experience, if we haven’t experienced something we can only surmise the possible impact it may have on us or our lives. Empathy is our closest link to knowing the impact of something without actually experiencing it. Here, empathy is the cord that connects you and your child. Your child will energetically receive from you what you tell them and what you don’t. The only control you can have is to surrender to what things are. Through acceptance you can make the decisions needed to make effective changes.
Cut it off at the Pass
Transferring energy from parent to child is a given, so cutting it off at the pass through acknowledgement, definition, and personal responsibility will make the back to school process much easier. Start with knowing what is going on underneath all of the back to school momentum. Sit down with your family and make two lists. Write ten things that you enjoyed in the past year, and ten things you did not. Your lists should give you an indication of possible worries and concerns. Secondly, accept that whether or not you feel that you or your childs anxiety is rational, it can spread like a California wildfire. Defining your concerns will help you know what is real and where to start. Setting boundaries for yourself and teaching your children the same is paramount in creating the environment to nurture personal responsibility. Finally, being honest and patient with yourself and others can mitigate a lot of frustration for everyone.