Posts Tagged ‘back to school’

Back to school without meltdowns, tantrums or shutdowns

August 27th, 2013

ARE YOU A PARENT OR PROFESSIONAL?

back to schoolJoin the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC). Our monthly Parent & Professional Support Call is Tuesday, August 27th. Topic: “Back to school without meltdowns, tantrums or shutdowns”.

Parents:

Does your child have anxiety or worry in social situations or with new experiences,

Do they have a difficult time transitioning and separating,

Does homework becomes a struggle as the school year progresses?

If so, then back to school can be a very difficult time.

Professionals:

Are you at a loss with helping families struggling with school issues,

Do you need some more tools in your toolbox to help families with school problems,

Do you want some creative cognitive behavioral strategies to help children shift their behavior and thinking so they can be successful at school?

If so, this is a must attend call.

On this members only call Dr. Laura Dessauer will share with you creative tips and practical strategies to help your child have a successful school year from the very start.

On this call you will learn:

  • Common struggles that prevent children from having a successful school year
  • How you can help children shift their thoughts about school and change their resistant behaviors towards schoolwork
  • Creative ways to engage your child, or the children you work with so they are feeling more empowered to manage the stress and worries of school and peer relationships
  • Plus some practical strategies you can use right now to start the school year off in a positive way

Whether your child is attending a new school, moving up into middle school or high school, or returning back to their old school, you will find this call filled with valuable information to help your child have their best year yet.

This call and audio recording is F-R-E-E for IPPC Members. This exciting international parents and professional community is surprisingly affordable and includes monthly parent & professional support calls, guest faculty calls with parenting and family experts, quarterly Q&A calls, instant access 24/7 to support resources, and a supportive, non-judgmental & downright awesome community of parents & professionals…all for just a few pennies per day. Click here to find out more


Ease back to school anxiety

August 23rd, 2012

As a parent or professional you can’t help but hear these words everywhere you turn- It’s back to school time. It’s everywhere, from the ads with dancing kids in their new school clothes to the reminders to pick up school supplies. If you’re a child who likes learning or likes going to school, then it’s an exciting time of year. For other children who struggle with academics, worry about “mean kids”, or easily get overwhelmed and stressed, it can be a very difficult time of the year.

There are so many feelings associated with this time of the year: excitement (about seeing friends) worry, (will the new teacher be “nice”), fear (will I have to sit next to the boy who picks on me again this year), dread (I heard that you get lots of hard homework in 4th grade, what if I can’t do it).

So if your child starts to change their behaviors as they head back to school, realize they may have a difficult time expressing their worry, anxiety excitement, and fear.

Here are 3 creative ways you can help your child positively express their back to school anxiety:

  1. Get artistic with the worries: Recycle an old book or get a blank journal to make an art journal. Use magazines and make a collage cover for the book. Cut out words and images of all the back to school worries, everything from anxiety about “mean kids” to worries about where you’ll sit during lunch time. Glue the images or use decoupage (or cover with clear contact paper). Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Now flip the book over and on the back cover. On the back cover use magazines and words of all the positive exciting things about going back to school, such as seeing friends, art class, recess, etc. Again glue the images or cover with decoupage or clear contact paper. Use this book throughout the year to write down or draw feelings and thoughts. For stressful thoughts and worries flip to the front cover and start filling in the book, for positive thoughts and good things, flip to the back cover and fill in the pages. (It’ s two books in one). If you are using a recycled book with words, paint over the pages with acrylic paint or use artist gesso and add images and words to the painted pages.
  2. Get playful with the worries: Create dioramas of school. Do you remember dioramas? They are miniature models. Use a shoebox, or cardboard box and create a small version of a school or classroom. Furnish it with mini chairs, desks, teacher and students made from modeling clay or other modeling materials. Your child can play out their feelings in this miniature world.
  3. Get expressive with the worries: Do you have a kid who loves to perform? Channel that creative energy into creating a back to school TV show. Use your video camera and film your child play-acting the teacher and/or students. Use props or costumes and have your child come up with a few characters to solve a problem they encounter. This can be reflective of a real life situation, or they can use their imagination.

Need some more tools in your toolbox to help your kids with back to school worries & stress? Join us next week for the International Parents & Professionals Community Members Only Call “Raising Confident Children Through Mediation” with Guest Expert Heather Chauvin. Learn more here


How to make back to school freak out free

August 8th, 2012

The count down to back to school has arrived and this time of the year can easily become overwhelming for parents and children alike. For some children transitions are really difficult; plus feelings of excitement/nervousness can easily lead to power struggles, meltdowns, shutdowns or freak-outs! If your child is at a new school, or is transitioning into a grade with more responsibility, or they have a new teacher, it can be a very stressful time (especially for children with poor coping skills). Get into the back to school swing with these sanity saving tips.

Here are 5 ways to make back to school freak out free:

 

  1. Get into the rhythm of the school year- Start to shift bedtimes and morning wake-up times a bit earlier so the first week of school isn’t a battle to get your kiddo up or to bed.
  2. Schedule time for summer schoolwork- I know most kids will be so very upset about the idea of schoolwork during the summertime! Likely there are things that they need to complete for summer, before heading back to school; and if they have no summer schoolwork you can assign reading (or visit your local tutoring company to get a jump on the year ahead).  Use positive rewards, such as earning computer/electronic time AFTER they complete the work requested.
  3. Channel their excitement into action- Start collecting back to school items, purchase new school clothes, and have your child pick-out their own binders and backpacks.
  4. Get creative- Customize backpacks, binders, and folders with unique designs. Head to the art store and pick up cools supplies to customize their back to school stuff. Use fabric paints, stencils, sew on patches, or add other flair to backpacks. Start with blank folders and binders and add scrap-booking elements, or create cool original designs with colored duck tape and sharpies.
  5. Express the fears, worries and anxieties of back to school through art- Many well intentioned parents and adults will try talk a child out of their worries. Your child may express their fears and you may begin to lecture, minimize, or rationalize why these feelings are not true. Instead of quickly reacting to your child with reasons why their fears are unjustified allow them an opportunity to express these worries through art. Create a school worry box, journal, or use paper to draw, write, or play out all the things your child may be worried about.  Allow your child an opportunity to express their worriers and concerns without censoring their thoughts and feelings.

Here’s a bonus tip- Take care of yourself during back to school time. Your child will pick-up on your worries and stress about their upcoming school year. So take the time to nourish yourself and BREATHE!

You can learn some cool tools to help your child and yourself become more calm, focused, and relaxed in our upcoming International Parents & Professionals Community Members Only Call “Raising Confident Children Through Mediation” with Guest Expert Heather Chauvin.  Click here to learn more

As an IPPC member you’ll also get instant access 24/7 to our popular audio Homework Power Struggles: Steps to minimize the homework battles and make homework time peaceful” with lots of practical tips to help reduce homework power struggles and set your child up for their best school year yet!

 

 


Homework problems & struggles: Homework success tips

October 14th, 2011

Homework struggles?

Do you have a child who struggles with homework? Does your child have a difficult time sitting down to do their homework or organizing or remembering their assignments? You may find yourself spending lots of time trying to get them to finally attend to their homework without a daily battle, meltdown, or interruption. What’s a parent to do?

Sometimes homework struggles signify there is something more going on with your child. They may have processing or learning issues and they may become anxious or frustrated. They may have impulsivity or attention issues that make it difficult to concentrate. They may have executive functioning impairments, that may it difficult to organize, remember, or sequence information.

Every child is different, and they respond differently to the struggle they are encountering. Some children may shutdown or avoid, they may make up a bunch of excuses to delay doing homework, they may lie because they are fearful of how you may respond. They may dillydally or easily get distracted, or ask you to get them things so they can avoid doing the work. Or they may just plain forget, no matter how may times they have been told what they need to do and by when.

Here are the Creativity Queen’s recommendations to help reduce homework hassles and headaches:

1. Know your child. If you notice that your child is acting differently, struggling with academics, processing and retaining information, or organizational issues ask a professional for support. The issue may be that your child is not being disrespectful or lazy, but there is something wrong and there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. Intervention and support can help your child create academic success.

2. Set your child up for success by helping them be organized. This starts with creating systems to help your child. Start with your child’s backpack. Get colored folders to match each subject and have a place for completed homework and homework that needs to be done. Make sure your child has a calendar with all the assignments written down, and look at the calender nightly to help them breakdown larger projects into smaller action steps and add the action steps to the calendar.

3. Define where and when homework is done. Create a specific time and place each day when and where your child does their homework. Your child will know what to expect and it will reduce some of the power struggles over homework. The more responsible your child is, the less direct supervision is necessary and the more flexible you can be with time and location. Let your child know what they can do after their homework is completed, such as spend time on the computer or watch television.

4. Have a clear outline of how homework time is spent and what is expected. Some children will fly through homework so they can play video games. Or some children will be on the computer surfing the net when they say they are doing their homework. Be clear on what needs to be accomplished during that time. Some children with processing or organizational issues may need you to break it down for them, such as what subject they work on first, how many pages they need to read, and what homework they need to complete. You can write it down together and have check boxes your child checks off when each task is completed. Let your child know you will review work together before they are “done”.

4. Stay in connection with the school. If your child struggles to remember assignments or projects due and your child’s school has an online calendar of assignments print that out and use it to see if your child’s assignments match. Older children can print this for you. If your child has academic issues contact the school monthly to check on how your child is doing in school. Ask the teacher for ideas on how to best support your child.

5. Explore your options. Does your child need more support with academics at school? Consult with a professional. Your child may need to be evaluated to determine if they need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with specific recommendations and supports that the school provides.

6. Get creative. Your child needs to find some positive ways to express their feelings around homework and their academic struggles. Art therapy is a helpful modality to help children express their feelings so they spend less time struggling and resisting homework. They can use their creativity to develop goals for the school year or create images, such as cartoons or artwork of what annoys and frustrated them, and then create solutions.

Here’s gentle reminder: please do not punish, demean, yell at, threaten children who have organizational, impulsivity, processing or learning issues. So many of these children feel like there is “something wrong” or they are “bad”. They are fearful of being picked on or being seen as “stupid” and may use negative behaviors, manipulate, lie or avoid, so they are not seen as “dumb”.  Children fear being labeled with these words and often would rather get in trouble with negative behaviors, than to be called names by their peers. Children can learn new strategies to change their behaviors and they can find positive ways to succeed at school when properly identified and supported.

If you have a child with academic issues then child therapy can help. Child therapists can rule out if the issues your child is encountering is behavioral and help your child and your family create systems to help your child with homework success. If you live the Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton area child art therapy can help your child develop system and new coping strategies to create academic success. To learn more sign-up for your complimentary child support consultation here.


Back to school worry and anxiety? These 5 creative strategies can help!

September 1st, 2011

Maybe your child is heading back to school and they are worried about being in a classroom with kids they don’t know, or they are starting school for the first time, going to a new school, or just plain worried about heading back to school. Here are five creative ways to help your child head back to school with less stress and worry:

1. Use a composition notebook and encourage your child to write or draw out all their worries. Then flip the pages and ask your child to create all the thing they are excited about.

2. Create a mini school out of paper or cardboard and create students out of modeling clay or play-doh. Allow your child to play out their worries without censoring their actions.

3. Play teacher and student. Have your child play teacher and you can be the student and allow your child to teach you something. Your child will feel empowered by expressing what they think their school experience might be like.

4. For older children, ask them to create images about all the things they are nervous or worried about and add them to a worry box. Decorate the outside of the worry box of images and words that make them feel confident and empowered.

5. Create a video of what your child expects from their school year. Allow them to shoot and edit a video (or music video) of their school experiences and what they want from the school year.

Need some more support to help your child be successful? Schedule a complimentary Support Consultation by clicking here!


3 Tips To Help Your Child Transition Back to School

August 31st, 2011

If you live in Florida then you know what time of year this is, back to school!  Even if you don’t have children or your children are grown, there is a shift that occurs as Fall arrives.  There is a bit of anticipation, a sense of something about to occur, a quickening of pace.  For many of us as fall arrives our schedule fills and we are on the go with little time to slow down and reflect.

No matter what age you are these easy tips will help make the most of your transition into Fall.  So here are some things to think about before your schedule gets too full with Fall busyness:

1.    What do I value?
What is really important to you or your family?  Take a moment and name the one thing that is the foundation of your values. Put this word or statement on a sticky note and post it somewhere important (i.e. desk, mirror, refrigerator).  Whenever you are running about feeling overwhelmed stop and think, what is my value and are my actions and choices reflecting my core value?

2.    Get back on schedule!
In the Summer there is a joyous loosening of our schedules.  Perhaps the bedtimes are later, the family visits more frequent, there is more time to spend enjoying each other’s company.  Of course that does not have to disappear when Fall arrives.  Remember that consistency and schedules give children and families boundaries that make the family function and also provide a sense of order and safety. Start preparing for back to school schedules now so there will be fewer arguments when the alarm clock rings for school.  Even for adults there is something soothing about a schedule. So if you are off schedule plan a few daily rituals (walking the dog in the morning or reading time at bed) to create order in your life.

3.    Give yourself a break!
There is so much running around that we do in our lives.  Give yourself permission to take a break, to decidedly not do something without guilt or remorse.  This may be as little of a break as choosing not to exercise today, or deciding that you want to cancel morning appointments and sleep in, or that you will sit by the pool and read when you should be doing the bills.  Take a break; revel in the fact that you chose it consciously. No need to worry, there will be things to do later, but for right now a nap seems just right.

Try these tips and see how they work for you.  You may find that giving yourself a pause or getting back on schedule helps you to clearly identify what it is you value. When you have a better idea of what is important to you and your family you might choose to spend less time running around during the transition of Fall doing all the things you think you should do, and more time doing what feels right for you.

Need some more support to help your child be successful? Schedule a complimentary Support Consultation by clicking here!


Back to school: How to help your child be successful

August 26th, 2011

Your child is heading back to school and for those of you in the Sarasota, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch areas in Florida, your child has just completed their first week back to school. How do you help your child have a great first week so that you set the tone for a successful school year? If your child is worried about heading back to school, or you are concerned that the first morning out the door will lead to fighting and arguments; here are some back to school success tips to help your child have a great first day and week back at school! Click the link below to watch these back to school success tips!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYfxaC9hamY


Going to a new school? These creative tips can help your child

August 17th, 2011

Do you have a child going to a new school? Are you worried about your child starting at a new school and you want to provide them some additional support? Here are some creative ideas to help your child be successful at their new school.

Go to the school with your child and visit the classroom and meet the teacher prior to school starting. Let your child get acquainted with the building and meet the principal, office staff, and nurse. Your child is likely to feel more comfortable asking for help is her/she has met the staff prior to the start of school.

If your child is taking the bus or is doing parent pick-up find out the location and visit the site where they will be dropped off and picked up. Allow your child some time to explore the school grounds. Pack a lunch and visit the playground and allow some time to play and get acclimated. You can even bring a camera to take pictures of their new classroom, teacher, staff and playground.

After the visit you can ask your child what was the best part of the visit and what they may be worried about. Make sure you listen without trying to problem solve. At home ask your child to make some pictures about their favorite things at their new school and post the images in a place where your child can see it on a daily basis. You can also print out the pictures your child took and create a scrapbook or album with images of their new school. The day before school starts pick out a new outfit to wear and talk about what they are looking forward to and revisit the images they made and the pictures they took.

If you child is worried or anxious about meeting new people or going new places they may need additional support. We teach children creative ways to manage their worries so they can be successful and confident. Want to learn more? Click here to schedule your complimentary child support consultation.


Teaching Responsibility: Help your child make & keep goals for the school year

August 15th, 2011

Got a child heading back to school and you want to help your child become responsible and accountable for the school year? Help your child create goals for the school year and provide your child with creative tools to be successful.

Here are some creative ways to help your child articulate and track their academic goals:

Ask your child to create an image (or use magazine collage) and ask them to make artwork representing their school goals. You can make it easier to define by taking a circle and filling in different sections for different goals they are striving to achieve.

For example inside of a circle they would section off each piece of the pie and create images and words inside of that section that represent their specific goals. Areas could include academics (a slice of the pie for each subject) friendships, social activities, and sports.

Another way to keep track of goals would involve creating an altered book by recycling an old book and creating a scrapbook of images and words representing the different goals your child is working towards. You can use an old out of print textbook, vintage yearbook, old children’s book, or visit a used bookstore. Cover the pages with paint and then use magazine collage to decorate the pages. Visit the craft store for additional scrapbook embellishments to personalize your child’s goal book.

The benefits of creating a personalized image or book of your child’s goals allows your child to create what a successful academic year would look like for them, holds them accountable for what they are creating (rather than you nagging them), and allows them an opportunity to reflect back at the end of the year on what they accomplished, and what they could improve upon. Plus it’s really fun to have a book or image of the year they created.

Need some more support to help your child be successful? Schedule a complimentary Child Support Consultation by clicking here!