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Build resilience by talking about feelings

When school begins, your child will be in a classroom where he or she will probably be about 20 other children all vying for the teacher’s attention.

They might also spend their recess and lunchtimes in playgrounds where there is anywhere between 150 and 800 other kids also milling around. When your son or daughter needs help in these environments, they will need to have the social maturity to be able to ask for it.

Trust me. The last thing you need is your school starter coming home with wet undies because they weren’t game to ask if they could go to the toilet.

So, what can you do to build this social maturity skill now?

Well, how about teaching your child how to ask for directions when you are out and about? Perhaps they can order from the menu when you eat out at a café or pay for small items like milk or an ice cream.

These might seem like small things, and as a parent I know it’s sometimes just easier and quicker to read the expression on your child’s face and to simply give them what they want. But really, if you are constantly acting as your child’s translator and meeting their needs without them ever having to articulate them, you are not helping them to be independent.

It’s never too early to start teaching your child how to explain what they need to people they don’t know very well.

Without being too melodramatic, there may come a time when your son or daughter’s ability to take the initiative and connect with others could save a life, or at the very least, access help when it is desperately needed.

Today’s school readiness tip is to simply teach your child how to ask for what they want (even if you have to whisper in their ear to suggest the words they should say.)

When the time for ‘big school’ rolls around, you will be glad that you encouraged your child to speak up.

© 2020 Sonja Walker