It began as a casual conversation with my daughter across the breakfast table. We were kicking around the subject of the upcoming school year. A fun exchange on my part of seeing your friends again, a whole new set of classes to be excited about and the amazing extracurricular activities to be engaged in. I looked up from my plate of scrambled eggs to discover a look of panic in my daughter’s eyes. What? What?! “What’s up?”, I said to her a my most summoned calming mom voice. “Tell me about what you’re feeling right now.” Her response caught my attention. “Mom”, she said with a fearful voice, “I just don’t know how I am going to keep up with everything! It’s going to be hard with everything I have to do for my Cambridge classes and then there’s theater, dance, broadcasting, homework.” She went on and on about the imagined demands her life would have once she started the school year. I could see the overwhelm and anxiety taking over as she had already played out a nightmare future scenario in her mind.
Lucky for her! This is my area of expertise! One of the perks I guess of having a Life Coach in your life pulling double duty as a mom too. Imagined and real stress is an ever so prevalent factor in the lives of our children these days. I see it often in my students of how we can get into overwhelm with the demands of our lives and this culture is affecting our children as well.
Here are 3 things you can begin doing today to apply strategies for emotional intelligence, organization and communication. As a parent and the most important source of guidance in his or her life, you can create a flow of ease, great energy and enjoyment to nurture success moments for your child each day.
1. Begin each day with a plan. Collaborate with your child to map out and create a daily routine into goals of what needs their investment of attention each day. A planner or notebook is a great resource to write down activities, upcoming tests, homework assignments and fun time as well. Yes! I said fun time too kiddos! It is just as important for them to recharge their well-being with activities that bring them joy. Play time nurtures creativity in the learning process. In addition, allowing your child to have an input in how their day flows using a time management tool provides them with a sense of accomplishment and skills to meet the responsibilities they have in life.
2. Allow for making mistakes and things quite not working out all of the time. There is a stress around the belief that we always have to get it right, be the best on our first try and making mistakes equals failure. Even the best well thought out plan will have it’s moments where you will need to find new solutions. Don’t sweat it! Brick walls of frustration are a part of the creative learning process and that wisdom is comforting to me. Enlighten your child to know moments like this will come up. This can be an opportunity where you model as a parent, life strategies for dealing with times of disappointment and setbacks. They can always begin again with a new mindset and let’s face it, a person cannot solve problems with an upset mind. Solutions and creative problem solving come in much easier over a calm sea.
3. Engage in communication daily with your child. Life is busy parents, I know! However, the gateway to navigating success moments for your child is communication. The one thing I do with my daughter every day is to check in at the beginning and end of each day. We discuss school, friends, what she has going on and I prompt her to share with me what was the best thing and the not so best thing that happened in her day. This dialogue offers me the opportunity to guide her and provide emotional intelligence tools to find solutions for the problems and acknowledge celebrations for her achievements.
So, Parents, your first homework assignment will be to create a foundation for success moments to thrive in the life of your child by making a daily plan, applying strategies to create solutions and nurturing an environment of communication. You got this!