Ngā mihi o te tau hou (Happy new year, greetings for the new year)
I really enjoyed my very first Kiwi Christmas, it has been a new experience with the sun, surf and picnics over the holiday break, rather than snow, wet and cold.
So what has February got in store for everyone?
I know that many families will have children starting a new school or class, so I thought you might like for me to share some of my favourite tried and tested tips with you. Maybe they will help reduce the stress and anxiety the first few weeks may bring.
- Talk about it: Be enthusiastic and positive, but listen to your child’s concerns and questions. If their behaviour changes – be a detective, name some emotions. Remember that if they didn’t think they should be nervous before, they might start wondering about the reasons they should be.
- Have a tradition: This could be a first day special breakfast, or a visit to the park after school. Think about something that would be special for your child, to help them get through that first day (or even the week).
- Potential new friendships: Ask about who’s in their class. Help your child choose a club to become part of, not only does this provide the opportunity to make new friends, they can also boost self-confidence too.
- Stock up on school supplies: Let your child choose their own backpack, lunchbox, binder or clothes. The things do not need to be brand new, even them choosing from what they already have can help them feel more confident and in control on their first day.
- Be involved: If possible try to volunteer at your child’s school or help out with a school sport or club. This not only shows your child you are enthusiastic about their school, but often gives you links to new friendships and social activities.
- Be patient: During these next few weeks, your child may be quieter than ever, tempers flare, or they begin to question everything. Remember they’re reacting to a new environment, loss of control and security of the “known”. They will need time to adjust.
- Play school: Try playing schools with your child. They could be the teacher and you could be the student. They get to play with the idea of school and see it as a fun scenario. Children often love teaching adults, don’t they?
- Don’t miss out on ZZZs: During a stressful time, anxiety can make sleep difficult. Sleep deprivation can adversely affect moods and make day to day life hard. Routine is really important during a high stress time of change, make sure you have lots of relaxing bedtime routines that everyone can enjoy.
I hope that has given you some new thoughts and ideas to help the next few weeks go by a bit smoother for you all.
February training is now live. You can register online here.
On 26 February, I will be in Levin for the day looking at Understanding and Supporting Behaviour.
Then I will be in Masterton, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Paraparaumu in March.
I am looking forward to seeing you all, catching up with some familiar faces and hoping to meet some new ones too!
Foster Care Awareness week
3 – 10 March
Foster Care Awareness week is fast approaching, straight after Children’s Day on Sunday 3 March. I have been busy organising some great ways to celebrate everything you all do.
So watch out for an email with all the what, where, when and how information in it. This should arrive in you inbox in the next week or two.
Ngā manaakitanga (with best wishes)
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