If you are like one of the many mums I talk to, July is a time of transition. It’s at this time of year that we need support our children as they get ready to leave pre-school, move on from primary school or secondary school, or indeed the transition from education to work. For some of us, if our children are going to university or taking a year out abroad, it’s about getting ourselves ready for when they leave home.
Transition can be hard. My youngest daughter is doing the big step up from primary school to secondary school. I’ve been reflecting on how to make this easier for her and for me too. This is what’s working for us:
- Acknowledge the feelings: acknowledge and accept the feelings. Denying the feelings doesn’t make them any less painful or real. Give yourself (or your child) permission to feel upset or worried or scared. Sometimes our children get very upset and anxious over what seems quite trivial. It might seem trivial to you however that anxiety is very real to your child.
- Be prepared – what practical steps can you take to make the change easier e.g. practise the route to the new school; our secondary school held an induction day for the children and welcome evening for the parents.
- Be positive – even if you don’t feel positive all the time about the transition, think positive thoughts and reframe negative ones. Reflect on the good things that will happen as a result of the change.
- Be aware that your mood (or your child’s) may go up and down; sometimes you will feel excited about the change, and perhaps a few moments later, worried and anxious. That’s ok and very normal.
- Get support from others – for children moving up to secondary school, that’s perhaps about making new friends. For you, it might be talking to other mums going through a similar transition.
- You’re not the only one: If you are in a group going through the same change, you’re probably not the only one feeling the way that you do. It’s worth reminding your children of that too.
- Take care of yourself … when we’re going through a tough transition, sometimes we forget self-compassion. Take time out for a walk, or read a magazine, or a long soak in the bath.
- Celebrate the transition. At school they have a last day at school limo trip planned!
I’d to hear what tips you have for parents or children going through a transition at this time of year. If you liked this, you’ll love my newsletter and you can sign up here to get your weekly Monday morning confidence boost.