The school year has started for most children and teens. It is a time filled with buying new school clothes and school supplies; adjusting to new school schedules, etc. Let us not forget to CELEBRATE the beginning of school with our child or teen. Celebrating can apply to any age, whether you have a first grader or a high school student. You might be wondering,“Why do we want to celebrate the beginning of the new year.? Here are my thoughts:
- Most importantly, setting the tone that this is a time to be excited about, to be happy about having the opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. Sometimes we forget that it really is a time to embrace the joy of learning and being able to potentially make new friends. It is easy in our busy lives to forget that imparting this kind of message can affect how our children think about school. Most of us really do want our children to love learning and like school.
- Celebrating is a one way of injecting some excitement and hopefulness into this sometimes stressful transition. It is one of the things that we can do before or after school starts. It is not too late to say “Let’s celebrate school starting school this week or last week, etc.” Celebrating implies that it is a good thing. It is one way for you to help put a positive spin on school and the year ahead.
- It is a way for you and your child or children to connect in regard to school. We all want to be a part of our child’s school world. This is a way to begin the year with that kind of connection.
- Celebrating is enjoyable and helps to give the feelings of good things to come. And is this not what we want. We want our children or teenagers to feel there is good to come. As we know what we envision is many times what we get.
How might we celebrate the beginning of school with our child or teen? Each family will have their own unique way of doing this that is a good fit for them. I am listing some potential ideas for your consideration. But, again, you will have your own ideas as to what fits.
- Consider the age of your child or children and what will feel like a celebration to them.
- Making sure we let our child or children know what we are celebrating and why. For example: “Let’s celebrate school starting. Lets …. “or “Let’s celebrate school starting. Do you have some ideas as to what we might do?” “Let’s celebrate school starting. Let’s . . . or maybe . . . to celebrate. Which do you think would be the most fun?”
- A special meal, possibly one of their favorites with maybe a special dessert of healthy treat to top it off is always appreciated.
- An appropriate gift with school starting can fit the bill. Your child’s age will of course make a difference here. I remember when my daughter was a first grader how she loved the new globe I bought her. You will know your child and what would be an encouraging gift that leaves the message of school is important and it can be fun too. It could be a cool new back pack or a gift certificate for . . . “
- A conversation about what they are hoping to learn this year or what class they are particularly excited about or any specific goals they have for themselves can be helpful. Plus, of course your encouraging words or affirmations of good things to come make sense in this conversation. This, of course, is a good time to highlight what you consider their strengths.”
- Another possibility is to have a back to school party for your child’s class at your house or at a park, etc. If your child is one that is feeling a bit of a loss as to making new friends and connecting socially this may be one way to help with that. Plus, a way for you to meet parents of your child’s classmates.
It really is a time to CELEBRATE the wonderful opportunity to learn new things and hopefully to create the stage for the love of life long learning. So best wishes in finding the best way to celebrate the beginning of school starting with your child or teen!