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  • Writer's pictureP.E.T. South Africa

A Smoother Back-to-School Transition

It's that time of the year again – the "Back to School" season is upon us in South Africa. As parents, you're likely gearing up for the challenges and joys that come with this significant transition. The start of a new school year can bring about a whirlwind of emotions for both you and your child.

Whether they're entering a new grade or a different school, these changes can evoke big emotions that require understanding and support. Here are some tips, inspired by the principles of Dr. Thomas Gordon's Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.), to ensure a successful back-to-school experience with your child:

Foster Open Communication: Begin by initiating open conversations with your child about the upcoming school year. Discuss any concerns, excitement, or fears they may have. Dr. Gordon's approach encourages parents to actively listen, providing a safe space for your child to express themselves without immediate problem-solving.

Establish New Routines Gradually: Start adjusting your daily routines a few days before the school year begins. This includes sleep and wake cycles, as well as practicing morning and night responsibilities. Gradual adjustments help reduce potential stressors.

Actively Listen During Stressful Moments: As the school year unfolds, pay extra attention to your child's emotions. Practice active listening when they share their experiences, worries, or fears. Sometimes, a listening ear is all they need to navigate the challenges they encounter.

Recognise Signs of Anxiety: Keep a watchful eye for signs of anxiety in your child. Changes in behaviour, extreme emotional outbursts, or withdrawal may indicate underlying concerns.

Take Action When Needed: If you observe concerning signs of anxiety persisting, take proactive steps. Seek guidance if extreme anxiety is impacting their well-being and school performance. Early intervention can make a significant difference.

Remember, the back-to-school season is not just about academic readiness; it's also an opportunity to strengthen your connection with your child. Dr. Thomas Gordon's principles emphasise the importance of mutual respect, open communication, and understanding – key elements in creating a positive and supportive environment for your child's growth and development. As you navigate this new school year together, embrace the journey and celebrate the milestones, no matter how small.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this communication is not to be construed as medical advice. Consult a professional on any medical or psychological concerns. The articles and blogs are posted only as opinion or ideas, and are general in nature. The administrator takes no responsibility for any action or outcome a reader may make as a result of reading a post.


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