Organizing the EMOTIONAL backpack is something we rarely think of in the melee that is back to school shopping. Backpacks packed with school supplies, new clothes have been agreed upon and excitement builds for the 1st day of school. Unfortunately for a lot of children, so does anxiety and unresolved issues from the previous school year.
This year no one will know who their child will have for a teacher or who will be in their class until the first day of school.
For most children this is not an issue, but when you have a child who finds transition very difficult it can seem monumental.
I usually wait a few weeks after school starts to re- assess what emotional needs need to be dealt with and addressed. This time I decided to be proactive and try a new approach.
My son has ADD and OCD, the ADD easily distracts him, the OCD is telling him to repeat actions, add in a stressful situation and this can quickly gather into a storm of unfounded proportions. He has a black and white approach to situations which can lead to feelings of frustration and anger. On a trip to my local library I found 2 great books with help from the librarian who knows my son well.
Both books are written by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D. and illustrated by Bonnie Matthews. There are more topics that are covered in the What-to-Do series.
“WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR TEMPER FLARES”
A kid’s guide to overcoming problems with anger.
“WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BRAIN GET STUCK”
A kids guide to overcoming OCD
We have gone through each book, sometimes together, other times he reads by himself, then asks questions. They are written in a way that at 10 my son is able to process the information without needing my help.It has opened a dialogue that has been easy to start because each book lays the groundwork, for an open and relaxed conversation, with the occasional AHA moment for both of us.
Parenting can be overwhelming and whatever your childs’ outlook of school is, trying a new approach may be just the key to a better first term this year.
This article is for my warm hearted, hilarious, fun loving, imaginative, smart, curious son Gabe, who deals with and conquers every obstacle that comes his way, and has taught his mother a thing or two along the way!!
Do you have a story on what goes into your childs’ emotional backpack?