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parent self-help

Tips for Creating a Successful First Week of School

The exciting and scary first day of school is coming soon!  Are you prepared?  Are your kids prepared?

  There are a range of thoughts running through a child's mind about the first day of school such as: Who will be in my class?  Will my teacher be nice?  Who will I eat lunch with?  I don't want summer to end!  I hate school!  I am excited about seeing my friends again. I love school!  Whether your child is excited about school or reluctant to start school again, it is an excellent idea to take some time to prepare yourself and your children for the change that is about to occur.

Start practicing the school schedule a few weeks ahead of the first day of school. 

Waking up early can be one of the hardest parts of the school schedule. Getting your kids used to the schedule before can help decrease anxiety and stress about the first day of school. If your kids are waking up early for camps and/or daycare during the summer, then this will be an easier process.  The first day of practice can be a "special morning".  Take your kids to get donuts, get an early start to a fun museum day, or give them a chance to play video games, if that is their first choice.  Having a "special morning" every week, or even every few days, can help with the hard transition of waking up early.

Arrange a late summer play date with other kids from school.

Social worries can be significant in a kid's life.  If your child is worried about situations that occurred last school year or just wants to know who will be in his class, it will help to reconnect him with kids he hasn't seen all summer.  Try to find out who will be in his class as soon as possible so you can discuss it with him.  The more he knows about the upcoming school year the less anxiety he will feel.

Teach your child to visualize all that he desires for the first day of school and the entire school year.

Visualization is extremely powerful in helping everyone receive what they desire. Have your child write out a story about how he wants the first day of school to be.  Tell him to read it and sit quietly and imagine it in his mind.  Whenever negative thoughts enter as he is creating his reality, he can notice them and send them flying away like a bird out the window.  Visualizing a scenario before it happens helps create a neural pathway in the brain and a comfort within us that we have already been through this event and everything will be okay. 

Have a happy and successful school year!








Staying Calm When Your Child is Angry

Staying Calm When Your Child is Angry.png

Most parents have dealt with their children becoming angry when things don’t go their way.  Even as adults, don’t we get upset when things don’t go our way?  The difference is that we, as adults, can handle being upset about a change of expectations better than a child can.  This is because a child is still learning how to behave and that learning is done by watching us, the parents.  It can be easy to forget that your child is still a child when she continues to come up with very complex arguments in order to get what she wants.  A human brain does not reach its peak power until the age of 22.  From the ages of 7-22 the prefrontal cortex is still maturing and this part of the brain involves impulses and decision making.  This means that fits of anger are going to occur.  This also means that bad decisions are going to occur.  This is how they learn!  It can be difficult for us to stay calm and loving when our children are yelling at us, but it is necessary to respond to their anger with love in order to teach our children how to deal with their anger.  Here are 6 tips to help you handle those anger outbursts with love and grace. Your child is watching and learning from your reaction so stay mindful!

1.         Stop and realize how you are feeling.  Are you angry? Hurt? Irritated?  Remain quiet and witness your feelings coming up as your child yells, screams or slams doors.  This moment of stepping back and becoming the observer will help disintegrate your reaction feeling of anger or hurt.  I know this can be hard, especially if your daughter or son is screaming “I hate you!”, but believe me that reacting to your child with the lower emotion he or she is having is only going to make the situation worse.  Your child is watching how you are going to react.  The ego of your child will want you to feed the anger, but you are the adult and you are responsible for teaching your child that is okay to feel the anger, but it is not okay to react from anger.  So take 90 seconds to sit and feel what you are feeling. The more you do this the easier it becomes!

2.       Respond from the Heart.  After those 90 seconds of observing your feelings, take a few deep breathes and decide how you want to react.  Your ego will still try to influence you to react by matching your child’s energy.  Say “No!” to your ego and go with what your higher self is asking you to do.  Your higher self knows to respond in a calm and peaceful manner.  You can say, “I am seeing that you are really angry.  Let’s stop for a moment and discuss how we can help you move from angry to calm.  Let me help you feel better.”  Listen to your child as he tells you why he is angry.  Don’t give advice.  Be there to provide a safe place to let your child show his emotions. At a later time you can teach your child phrases and actions to take in order to calm himself down.  One phrase I like to say to myself and I teach kids to use is,  “I am feeling angry and that is perfectly okay.”   Saying this helps you become more of the observer of the emotion and less of being the emotion.  This can also be used with other emotions as well. 

3.       Stay consistent every time your child has an outburst.  This is very important!  If you react in a different way every time, then your child will not take you seriously and will learn that staying calm is too hard of a reaction and will continue to always have angry outbursts. 

   4.       Give a consequence for the reaction, but not the feeling.  Sometimes a consequence is not needed, but If your child disrespects you by calling you names or saying hateful things, then the child should get a consequence, such as no T.V. or IPAD for a day.  Make sure the child knows the consequence is because of the disrespect and not the anger.  Let your child know that it is okay to have the feelings we have, but it is not okay to hurt others with our reactions to our feelings.

5.  Put aside time for you to have quiet time by yourself.  Take a few minutes of meditation time each day.  This will train your mind to remain calm and focused no matter what the energy is of others around you.  It is also helpful to teach your kids to have a daily meditation time as well.  Meditation is proven to help with emotional regulation.

6.  Find a trusted mentor or Life Coach.  Sometimes parents and kids need someone to talk to and learn from besides each other.  This is okay.  As parents we are here to guide and keep our children safe while letting them learn life lessons.  Sometimes children are more likely to open up and listen to other adults that they trust.


Sparks of Enlightenment for a Worrying Parent


One of my strongest memories of my Mom, from when I was young, is her constant worrying.  As a child it really affected me.  I didn't want to be in the house.  I felt she was always worrying about things she couldn't do anything about.  It drove me crazy.  It made me sad.  Now, as a parent, I can see why she worried so much.  Worrying about our children is a given, when you are a parent. It is a natural instinct that helps us attend to our children's needs.  Worrying is a good thing!  It's when it starts affecting your happiness and your children's happiness that it becomes a problem.  Read my 5 Sparks of enlightenment below that help me tame my worry monster.


How to decrease your parental worry:


1)  Identify the worry:  Once you identify what you are worrying obsessively about, then you have put a label on it and it already starts to decrease. Identify what emotions you are feeling.  Are you fearful?  Sad?  Angry? Sit with the feeling of the emotion for a few minutes and just let it be there.


2)  Write a letter to yourself:  Writing down your worries has a powerful way of helping you see clearly.  You are releasing your worries to the paper and they start to feel lifted.


3) Remind yourself of what you can and can't control:  Say the Serenity Prayer to yourself daily:


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.


Use these wise words to figure out what you can control and work on a solution to help you control it.  You choose what you worry about.  There is only so much control you can have over your kids.  You are in charge of their well-being and safety, but they also have to learn their own life lessons.  There is another prayer I like to say that also helps me surrender to all the challenges I meet in life.  Find it here:


4)  Meditate:  Ever since I became a parent I have relied on meditation to clear my mind and assist me in controlling my anxiety.  Just 5-10 minutes in the morning and evening can help tremendously.  There are many guided meditations to help with worry. Try my favorite meditation app

5)  Practice living in the NOW:  This can be the hardest thing for parents.  I struggle with it daily.  We all have so much on our mind with work and raising kids.  It takes a lot of practice and upkeep to have moments of joy and peace in your everyday. I like to reference back to one of my favorite books, The Power of Now,  to remind me of how peaceful I can feel when I live in the Now.  The present moment is all we have. I know it is easier said than done, but it takes practice.  Practice mindfulness in your everyday activities, such as cooking, brushing your teeth, or drinking your coffee. The more you practice, the easier it is for you to make it a part of your daily mindset.


I hope these tidbits help you the way they help me!  Parenting gives us our biggest life lessons.  Take those lessons and grow!