Back-to-school time can be a time of stress and uncertainty but it can also be a time of excitement. I can remember bringing my oldest to preschool for the first time wondering if she was going to be OK. Would anyone help her if she needed something? If she was upset, would someone comfort her? Would other kids be nice to her? Who would protect her when I wasn't there?
Whether you are referring to your own children or nieces or nephews or neighborhood children, ask yourself some of these questions:
Do I model the behavior I want a child to exhibit towards others?
Do I demonstrate the ability to ask respectfully of others when I need help?
Do I encourage children to be their genuine self and to not change to make someone like them?
Do I give children and this world in general the best I have to offer?
If you can say yes to many or all of these questions, feel confident that this information is sinking in to the young persons around you. It's so hard to see kids go off on their own....but you as a parent or supporting adult in a child's life will survive that first day of school and so will they, as they know there are loving and supportive individuals waiting to hear about their day.
If your child is in college for the first time, will they know to go to the infirmary if they are sick? Will they get up for class on their own? Will they eat good meals .... at least sometimes....to stay healthy? If you're not sure you have taught your child all of these skills, it's not too late to sit them down or email them and go over a few basics. Talk to them about what to do in emergencies, how to find a car mechanic, the importance of independence and getting themselves to class on time and to let your child know what you expect of them and that you are there for them. Knowing they have your support can help them feel safe and secure in their new environment.
Empty-nesters...now is the time to reconnect with your spouse or friends or with hobbies that are collecting dust on the closet shelf. Do you want to go back to school? Do you want to take on that challenging job that you have turned down due to previous commitments with children at home? Life is yours.....experience it.
Parents with school age children for the first time who are not working outside the home can also find new experiences by connecting with other neighborhood parents in the same situation. Start a book club, exercise together, volunteer in your community, make a lunch date with your spouse or partner that is working outside the home or...dare I think it......actually complete a conversation with someone without being interrupted.
No matter what your marital status or family situation may be, seasonal changes as well as your birthday or the start of a new year are wonderful times to review your life and regain control in areas where you feel you need a change. Use this Fall Season to excite in new experiences for yourself and others.
So in closing, love your children while they are with you if you are a parent; teach them lessons that will be important in life and share in the joy of their accomplishments...(when they have time to tell you about them). Love yourself and who you are at this very moment no matter what phase of life you are in. Understand that you can make changes when you choose. It helps to look at it From a Positive Perspective.......