As summer draws to an end and the fall begins to creep in, it can only mean one thing for children across the country... it's Back to School!
I can recall growing up that there was always a mild sadness mixed in with a little nervousness and
excitement on the last day of summer break. Sadness because I would have the feeling of wanting the endless summer to go on forever and coming to the realization that it can't. Nervousness and excitement from not knowing what the new year held in store.
Many questions and thoughts filled my head.
What new friends would I make?
Would any of my current friends be my class?
What would my teacher be like?
Were the rumors about them true or not really?
What cool things would I learn?
What field trips would my class be going on?
At the time, I felt I was the only one thinking like this. I know now that was far from the truth.
As parents, we can often get caught up in the routine of life and don't stop to think about what is happening inside the minds of our children. We make sure all is great on the outside and that they are ready to go, but fail to connect with what they are experiencing internally.
How can we be more in tune with our children's emotions?
Adopting an empathetic mind and being mindful of the situation is a great practice. To be empathetic we want to consider what is going on for our child at the moment. Putting ourselves in their shoes and exploring the thoughts they may be having (even if they seem ok on the outside) can bring better connection. Reaching back to when we were going through the same moments and the thoughts that we had, helps to create a common ground of thinking.
Now as I prepare to send my first daughter off to kindergarten, I reflect back and become aware of all the feelings and emotions that come with that first day. For myself, I am proud and overjoyed (and still a little nervous). On the other hand, I am conscious to take a step back and see life through her eyes and curiously examine what is taking place...in the moment.