Mindfulness & Emotional Intelligence in Kids Starts at Home: Important Back-to-School Tips for Parents by Roma Khetarpal
As excited as we are when summer holidays arrive, we are equally jazzed about the kids going back to school so we can return to some routine. This bittersweet time comes with its fair share of pre-back-to-school madness, however. Parents feel the stress of getting everything done before school starts. After that come the worries about new teachers, new schedules and new classes, just to start.
- Will my children be able to cope with more homework?
- Will they like their new teachers?
- Will they be influenced by peers?
- Will they make the sports teams they are hoping for?
- Will they get the classes they need?
- Will they be bullied?
- Will they get good grades?
I guarantee that your fears are theirs as well. Each one of us remembers what going back to school felt like. Did our parents ever stop to ask us if we felt ready and prepared? What were our worries and fears?
Research has revealed that children who are more mindful and emotionally intelligent are more likely to succeed than even those with a high IQ. But the seeds of mindfulness are sowed at home. Why not shift your questions to:
- Do I communicate effectively with my children?
- Do I feel connected to them?
- Am I spending enough time with them?
- Do they like spending time with me?
- Will they come to me when they have something on their mind?
- Will they turn to me when they are in trouble?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you can let go of your worries. We cannot solve our children’s issues, shelter our kids from hurtful experiences, prevent them from making wrong decisions or undo their missteps. What we can do is support them, provide a safe haven and build solid lasting connections and relationships with them.
- So drop the “You better get good grades” and switch to “Do the best you can.”
- Forget “How will your actions make me look” and offer “How can I help you and support you.”
- Do away with “Follow my way” and encourage the youngsters with “You lead the way.”
- Most of all, erase the “Let me protect you so you don’t fall” and replace it with “Let me hold you when – not if – you do.”
Our children are precious cargo that we carry through life. We brought them into this world, and our first responsibility is to see them through it with love, care and connection. That is the message that should be playing in your mind along with the long list of to-dos.
So before kids go back to school, take a minute, a few hours or a full day to let them know how dear they are to you. Then let them carry that music in their hearts – not just during the coming school year but through the rest of their lives.
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