My junior high student is really nervous about the upcoming year. Is there anything I can do to help make this experience more enjoyable and take away his fears? How can I help him start this big transition year off right?
There are some things you can do to lessen his fears. Here are a couple suggestions (pay special attention to the last one):
Figure out how you want to show up in each of those roles. What kind of a brother do you want to be this year? What kind of a friend do you want to be? What kind of a student would you like to be? Write down specific details about how you would like to see yourself in each role.
Get a fresh piece of paper and write those things again, as if you already are those things. For example:
"I want to be a good student who gets good grades and turns in all homework on time,” becomes: “I am a good student who gets good grades and turns in all homework on time." Here are some other examples:
This should be a very detailed description of the person he (or you) want to be this year. When you make these decisions ahead of time, it becomes easy to make good choices in the moment. Deciding who you are (then knowing who you are) creates self-worth and empowers people (and students) to be their best.
Encourage your son to keep this paper where he will read it daily. You may want to read it every morning and start the day off right. Some of my clients read this paper three times a day to help them remember who they are.
If you do this exercise as a family, don’t tell your child what they “should” want to be. You can ask guiding questions about what’s important to them, but you must let them decide who they want to be.
Some teens would rather do this project alone and not have mom and dad involved. This is OK. You want them to make good choices for themselves. They must decide that making those good choices is what they want. Empower your children by letting them know you trust them to make good choices, because they are such awesome, amazing, smart people.
When you see the best in others, it encourages them to want to be that.
Hope these ideas help.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought-after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in clarity: seeing yourself, others and situations accurately.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.