SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

August 30, 2013

Reacting positively to back-to-school challenges

(Continued)

Remind him that he’s in charge of his thoughts, reactions and attitude and he has to manage positive and negative life challenges.

Praise your child for how he’s handled adverse or uncomfortable situations in the past with specific examples, “You know when you had that basketball coach that yelled at you, once you realized it was his way of pushing you, it felt OK. Try to keep an open mind about your teacher.”

Remind your child that it’s OK to be frustrated and that he’s not going like every teacher to the same degree, just like he doesn’t like every friend the same amount.

If you as his parent do not like your child’s assigned teacher, be a good actor. It’s unhelpful to bad-talk his teacher, and it will make it harder for him to connect with that teacher. Behind closed doors, in the dark, whisper in a private conversation with yourself, your partner or a friend that you don’t like the teacher and get it off your chest, then get over it. Said anywhere else, you may think your child won’t hear it, but he will.

Friendships. Many children can become overwhelmed with the visual reality of not having their close friends in their class, and seeing is believing. When his friends are hanging out with new classmates at lunch, he may react with feelings of rejection. Feeling overlooked can feel hurtful and, as a parent, it may upset you, as well. However, it’s adaptive to connect with the new kids in class, so gently reassure him that his friends are not trying to hurt his feelings.

Reassure him that classes change every year, and in the past, he’s dealt with it, and he will this year, as well.

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