It's not uncommon for children to be nervous at the beginning of a new school year. Now that we're a few weeks into this year, it may be that your child is still struggling with being anxious.
How should you respond? Should you tell him to toughen up? Should you wait it out? Should you be taking some important action right now?
While every child is different, here are four steps to help your preschooler work through anxiety.
Parenting children uniquely reveals your strengths and weaknesses. In this broken world, broken parents can never be perfect, but we can learn to emphasize the most important things.
In order for your child to pick up on emphases, however, he or she must hear them and see them nearly every day. It's easy to make one of two errors.
First, it's easy to naively assume that mere words will communicate your values. If these words are not backed up by action, however, they will ring hollow.
The second error is to assume that your child will interpret your actions and learn the lessons behind them. They need to hear the words, not just see the actions.
Like a good song, the music must fit the words. If your words say one thing and your actions another, it'll fit no better than a poorly matching tune. But without the words, music can only communicate so much.
There are at least six things your preschooler should hear from you on a consistent basis.
Before my daughter could talk, we taught her some basic baby sign language. Well, truthfully, we only taught her "all done." When she was done with her food, she would hold both hands up and twist them at the wrists, doing a sort of double-wave.
At first, it was great. We could finally understand when she was done with her food. It took a lot of the guesswork out—is she done yet? is she still hungry? But it wasn't long before she was seemingly saying "all done" just about before she started.
A new problem was created. Now we were concerned about her eating enough. It felt mean to force feed her, but we wanted her to eat enough. What do you do if your preschooler isn't eating enough?