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Back To School: 5 Must Haves

The first day of school, especially in a new school, can be like walking into a horror movie for a child. Feeling out of place, disconnected, and unsure of himself, he steps into the unknown, hopefully concealing the terror that grips his insides. He wonders how he will match up to his peers in making friends, making the grade in his classes, in extra-curricular activities, and on the athletic fields.

As a parent, you can assist your child in moving through those fears by seeing that he has these five items in place.

1. Self Image

The picture your child has of himself tells him who he can and cannot be, what he can and cannot do in life.

Whether he is successful or unsuccessful -- in his own eyes, is a result of whether he sees himself as a success.

Talk with him about his plans for the year. Listen for clues that he places limitations on what he can and cannot be and do. Rather than settle for a reply like, "I can't play sports" ask him if he would like to play sports, or one sport in particular. If you get a "yes" then suggest brainstorming ways he can get better at and enjoy that sport.

Apply the same solution-finding system to any and all areas he mentions.

2. Self Esteem

Self Esteem is how he feels about himself. Either he feels good about himself --and makes choices that please him, regardless of what others think or say -- or -- he feels bad about himself and does whatever he thinks he has to so he fits in.

A child with high self esteem is not vulnerable to peer pressure. A child with low self esteem yields to what others say and follows what they do.

Let your child know he chooses whether to like himself or not, to be happy or sad. Offer help in seeing himself and his life choices. Show him how to view his life from different perspectives.

The big picture brings awareness to how he makes his life look exactly as it does. Let him know he can make different choices and get different results.

3. Confidence

Confidence reflects high self esteem. Regardless of what
happens in life -- even during times of horrendous pain and suffering -- if he has high self esteem, your child knows at some point, all will be well. Well does not mean the old way comes back. It means the crisis will pass and life will continue as it needs to.

Does your child act to accomplish his goals, even when he feels fear? Or does he stop and question whether he can succeed -- then talk himself out attempting new things?

Acknowledge every little thing your child does so he appreciates his greatness. If your child only hears praise when he accomplishes something big, he may feel worthless unless he creates big things in life. He also may feel you only value him when he does what you want him to do.

Tell him you love him rather than what he does. And support him in doing whatever passion he pursues. Support means participate, attend events -- go beyond paying for the necessary physical items and lessons.

4. Responsibility

Does your child make his own choices in life and accept responsibility for the outcome? Does he seek advice and opinions and then rely on himself for his final decision?

Assist your child in making decisions rather than making them for him.

5. Contentment

Is your child contented with the choices he makes? Is he decisive -- making choices quickly and sticking to them?

Does he also know that events are just events and we give them meaning?

Show your child he can choose to interpret life events as good or bad. Teach him to look for the good in every person and every situation. You will see more smiles and fewer frowns.

Self image leads to self esteem. Your child's level of self esteem determines his degree of confidence. Whether your child takes responsibility for his life looking as it does or he seeks to blame others and the world, results from his level of confidence. Finally, your child, knowing he controls how his life looks, can choose to a contented life.

Submitted by:

Ali Bierman

Ali Bierman is the proud mother of two great adults. While raising her kids she also enjoyed working in the schools as a volunteer and teacher, on the soccer fields as a coach, and in crisis care as a psychotherapist. She brings her love and experience to parents sharing how to raise kids who can be, do and have anything they want by listening to your heart and following your gut. In addition to speaking and mentoring, Ali Bierman's parenting books include the popular ebook, 17 Parenting Secrets: What Successful Parents Know To find out more and grab your gift, Ali's e-zine Secrets of Successful Parents go here now: http://kidswhocan.com




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