How Parents Can Help with the Emotional Challenges of Transitioning

School transitions can be pretty tough for kids – and as a mom you want to help ease them through it – but how?

Parents can help with the emotional challenges of transitioning, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to help. Here are some tips on how you can help your kids make those important transitions.

Preschool to Kindergarten

Here may be one of the first big transitions in your child’s life. The emotional challenges of this age involve separation anxiety and social readiness (or unreadiness). Here are some tips.

* Tour the school with your child over the summer before he or she begins kindergarten. Familiarizing her with the teacher, classrooms, playground, and overall layout of the school will help a lot.

* Understand her feelings, say experts. Parents may get impatient with separation anxiety and tears, but if you’re going to support your child, it’s a good idea to understand where she’s coming from. Talk about how she feels, and help her put words to the feelings (that can be hard at this age). This helps her identify the feelings which may make them less scary.

Grade School to Middle School

This can be a big one. It’s an emotional age at this point, so parents would do well to prepare themselves. Some of these tips may help.

* Understanding feelings is important at this age, too, but it’s not the same as going from preschool to grade school. Obviously, your child doesn’t need words to identify what he’s feeling. As a parent, you can help by recognizing the priority shift your child will have. His emotions are more focused on peers and the opposite sex than they were in grade school.

* Asking questions without judgment can help parents connect emotionally with their kids during transitional challenges. Try to find out what your child’s concerns, fears, and apprehensions are, as well as the things he is looking forward to and is excited about.

Middle School to High School

Kids start feeling independent and “grown up” about this time. Here are some tips on dealing with this transition.

* Help them solve their own problems. At this point, calling the school for every complaint may not help your child. The transition may be smoother if you can offer some problem solving skills and strategies to help your child help herself. This is an opportunity to help your child come up with a plan to help solve the issues at hand.

* Go to orientation if it’s offered. If it’s not, tour the school. Find teachers and advisors who can talk to your student about her fears and concerns, which will help alleviate some of those concerns. Many times, kids fear high school for reasons that really aren’t realistic.

High School to College

Sending your child off to college is a big step! How can parents help their increasingly-independent child with this transition? Here are some tips.

* Validate your child’s feelings about this big change. It may be tempting to blow off their problems – they don’t have “real problems” grown-ups may think – but remember your college-aged kids don’t have the life experience and frame of reference that you do. Being patient with their concerns can help make their transition smoother. Let them vent!

* Keep in touch with care packages and special gifts at key times (like final exams or his birthday). This helps support them more than you may know!

 

Your Questions About How To Display Kids Artwork

Sandra asks…

How soon before Halloween can I carve a pumpkin and it still be presentable on Halloween?

Or, how do I keep it from going bad once I carve it? I’m a busy person, but every year I LOVE elaborately and artistically creating designs in my pumpkins (kids LOVE the artwork) I need to know how soon I can carve them and they still be ok to display on Halloween. Thanks 🙂
OOOOH I got a LOT of work to do then. I’m carving 4 pumpkins. 2 for my back door and 2 for my front *sighs* and a very short time frame to do it in.

richmama answers:

Um maybe about 5 or 7 days. To be really sure pumpkins rott fast and they rott fasted being carved.

Good luck on your pumpkin!

Maria asks…

Artwork on brains, some help please?

At school we are doing site specific sculptures and site specific installations, im choosing the topic of brains and am going to use a brain jello mold as my brains, using plaster (most likely)

my theme for the work is that during high school kids take their brains for granted cause its not “cool” interested more in going to parties than learning.. so any ideas of how i could display this idea? (my first idea was to have a large pink, healthy brain in the library or something and then a dark, bruised one say, outside the principals office)

pleease pleasse help!

richmama answers:

Or maybe how one day the party brain will grow up and then be too old to party and be dumb. And then the smart brain will be the cool one 🙂

Nancy asks…

College and financial aid? Racism?

I have a serious question here. Do not try to twist anything I say into racist ideals because I am 100% not racist. I accept all people of all races, religions, and backgrounds. Anyway, I’m white. I’m a junior in high school. I take all honors and AP (college) level classes, and have earned straight A’s throughout my elementary (starting in third grade when we starting getting letter grades), middle, and high school years. I have a 4.0 GPA unweighted. I am on the executive board of two clubs, am a member of NHS (National Honor Society), have had my artwork displayed at various events, and play sports. I also worked during much of my sophomore and junior year. Anyway, I’m noticing how hard it is for my friends to get scholarships. Like me, they take advanced level classes and have very high GPAs. Their class rankings are high as well. They have applied to many different schools and are getting minimal financial aid, which I find really unfair considering they have worked so hard in school. Now, here’s the controversy. The friends I’m referring to are white as well. A few black students at our school (with much lower GPAs and not as many extra-curriculars) are easily receiving scholarships (I know because they have bragged to me about it). Everyone at our school’s family hovers around the upper-middle class, so it’s not a financial issue that is allowing them to get the extra money. I think it’s ridiculous that they are immediately accepted into schools and receive so much help in paying for their tuition. I mean, sure, a university wants to promote it’s diversity, but how unfair is it to expect those who have worked so hard in school to just throw away their achievements and have to pay for everything out of pocket? I mean, my parents can’t afford to send both of my siblings as well as me to college for four or more years. It gets too expensive. I’d get a job and go to school as well, but I want to be a doctor, and the coursework will be hard enough without the distraction of an on-the-side career. Anyway, my question is, how is it fair that blacks get money for school, and whites don’t? What about those who live in the ghettos and get to go to Ivy League schools FOR FREE because the government wants them to “rise up despite their troubled past?” I’ve been met with many struggles in my life. My grandparents immigrated to the United States, both with elementary school educations. They were poor and had to raise four kids. All four went to college, but they didn’t get any financial aid. What’s up with that?
I meant to add to my comment about my grandparents that despite the fact that my grandparents were poor and uneducated, my mom rose up on her own to finish high school on the honor roll, and to get her Master’s degree at a college. She didn’t need to government to wave incentives in front of her face to make her go to school and make something out of herself. Why should blacks be treated any differently than my mom was?
Really quest4whatever? Don’t you dare say anything about me being racist. You don’t know me. I’m saying, in my experience, I see a lot of kids from what are considered “ethnic” backgrounds getting a lot more help than your plain old white person. How about this? I’m EUROPEAN! I am very proud of my ethnicity, but I don’t get special treatment because I hail from that region. I never stereotyped a whole race, I just said that from what I’ve heard, more black people receive help than whites. Don’t play the racist card. I’ve been treated poorly by “ethnic” people everywhere I go. It seems if you’re white, you’re automatically labeled as a “racist” and people treat you differently. It’s unfair. Plus, I’m a kid, and you won’t treat me with disrespect because you think you’re older and wiser than me.

richmama answers:

You’re absolutely correct in your observations. I was in the same boat a few years ago. I’ve always been an active volunteer, I had a 4.0 in high school, a 4.0 in college, and now I’m in the first year of medical school. I’m a white male with parents in the middle class, which is terrible for scholarship opportunities. I was just as frustrated then as you are now when I found out that minority students were getting the financial support to continue their education, while I had the stronger resume and was left with nothing. It should be equal opportunity where the best students, regardless of race or gender etc, are rewarded. If you are planning to go to medical school, be prepared to go through the same frustration when looking for support there. Years and years of hard work have left me with debt that will take decades to pay back.

Donald asks…

What’s your opinion on someone who calls another “white trash” ?

A relative [non blood] got mad at her kids for watching this cop program which had some ppl involved w/criminal activity etc. Of course they were unsavory characters, though I’ve heard her using this term before “white trash” when she was talking to her son about someone he knew. He glanced around to see everyone’s reaction to such anger in her voice using that disgusting phrase again. Doesn’t sound as if she thinks she’s better than others overall?
She once acted as if what I did for living was somehow unworthy–I was all happy about this merchandising/sales rep job, and she stuck her nose up in the air as if she didn’t want to hear about. Also once she referred to me as a “manager” at the time when I OWNED/operated a cafe’. Another time she some how found out I was artistic, majored in commercial art and was very good at it. Guess MIL told her. So she suddenly displayed her artwork in an easel in the guest room we spent the night in during one visit , LOL !!! xD
Is she too much or what? GeeeeeeZzzz!!! Gee willikers, –never met anyone quite like this one, lol!! xD
SHE TRIES TO ACT LIKE SHE HAS MONEY [in attitude] however she’s only a nurse [whoopty-doo]. I know 2 millionaires who don’t act even half as snotty as she does!

richmama answers:

We are all children of God, and He did not create trash. Some people lack self-respect and act in ways that could be considered trashy. That includes people who put down others in a futile attempt to lift themselves above those people. In my experience, it sometimes helps to give them the praise and admiration they crave. It costs nothing, and satisfies their need to be respected.

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