Wednesday, 27 August 2014

How to prepare your child for the new "Back to School" academic year

Dear UAE Mums,

I am absolutely delighted and honored to be sharing my learnings with all you through this wonderful platform created by Hena. And I look forward to personally interacting with you at some point through this journey.

With the countdown to the schools starting we are bidding farewell to the long summer months of sleeping in late, family time, late nights, movies and holidays.

The traffic on the roads has increased; parents are rushing to the shops to organize uniforms, stationery and various things in preparation for children going back to school.

For some kids there is an air of excitement, for others anticipation if they are moving to a new school or new country and yet for others trepidation if the last year was dotted with some unpleasant experiences.

Today we will look at strategies on how to help your children put their best foot forward to start the new academic year on a more sure footing.

The first three strategies mentioned will help your child prepare 'physically for the new academic year'. 
1) Get your children into a routine with regard to their sleep and food patterns. Sleeping and waking up on time, eating healthy foods and at the right times.

2) Buying your children new school items like bags, stationery, shoes etc. so that they look forward to the new academic year with freshness.

3) Clearing their desks and the physical environment in which they will be doing their homework and projects.

Besides looking at their physical environment and needs it is also imperative to spend time clearing any 'mental' or 'emotional' baggage they might be carrying from the previous year. 

4) Clearing their minds of any negative situations and experiences in their past academic year by helping them focus on what they learnt from those experiences. If you child has not done as well academically, or a close friend has moved to another school or country or your child was bullied, it is important to sit with your child and change his perspective around that experience by focusing on what he learnt and how he would deal with it in the future.

5) Setting up new and positive belief systems by focusing their attention on things they did well in. Go through the past year and pick all the moments of success and focus your child's attention on their achievements and strengths. You can put up visual reminders, photos, pictures of their achievements so that it boosts their self-confidence for the coming new year.

6) Help your child set new goals on all areas of their life – from academic goals, sports, music to important life skills like building self-confidence, improving communication skills, how to deal with peer pressure, how to improve focus etc. Life skills are skills that will help them not only become resilient but also leaders in their class and community.

7) Talk to your child about the challenges that they might face while working towards their goals and the support they might need from you as parents, their teachers or coaches like tennis coach, golf coach or a life coach who helps to up level them to their next benchmark.

By putting the above strategies in place not only on the physical level but also ensuring that your child is mentally and emotionally ready to embark on a new school year will ensure that he has a successful year.

Wishing all UAE Mums and your children a fabulous NEW academic year! May our children succeed in their individual goals and together create a world of peace, love and harmony!

Sunaina Vohra
Youth & Family Coach
Athena Life Coaching

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