Starting into a new school routine with our ASD children can be a bit daunting, but we can be successful with a little bit of preparation and mindfulness!
I thought I’d send some brief suggestions that might help you navigate the first week of school successfully.
- Does your child have a new teacher this year? I’ve found it helpful to send a brief letter helping your child’s teacher become familiar with what makes your child tick! For example, what does your child love to do? What is he good at? Are there things that your child might enjoy doing that could be helpful in the classroom? What things is your child fearful of, or might upset him or her? If your child is shy, for example, ask your child’s teacher from refraining to ask him a direct question until he’s more comfortable in the environment. Sharing this information with your child’s teacher could be very helpful in fostering a connection with your child, and may just build a bridge that will cultivate understanding and friendship.
- Keep your week fairly quiet. The first week back is exhausting for everyone. Your child will benefit from having a snuggled-up movie night, or going for a quiet walk. The exercise will do you all good!
- Refrain from asking too many direct questions. It’s sooo tempting to fire a barrage of questions, isn’t it? As concerned parents, we want to know the “who, what, where, when and why” of your child’s day. However, if you do too much “fishing” you’re likely to wind up with a very quiet child. A simple statement, such as “When I was a little girl, I loved to play on the swings at school,” might be enough to encourage your child to open up. This is a gentle, non-threatening trick that I’ve used a lot with kids! If your child seems discouraged, you might share a story about how you felt as a child, or a time when you talked with your own parents.
- Resist the temptation to downplay your child’s fears. Being “heard” is often enough, particularly when you may not have all the facts to “fix” a situation. Let your child know that you care, and acknowledge his feelings, genuinely, without minimizing or dismissing them.
- If you don’t have a regular dinner and bed time, establish one now! Even if your child balks at a regular bed time, everyone will be better off with clear expectations. If your child is older, a discussion is warranted. Let your child “weigh in,” and negotiate a little, but remember – you drive the bus!
- Take care of yourself! Moms and Dads are at their best when they get some TLC. Don’t be afraid to take some “time out” for yourself if you need to. The school year is just beginning, and I suggest that you begin with the end in mind. Put yourself at the top of your “to-do” list, and do something kind for yourself each day. I guarantee that the positive effects will trickle down to the rest of your family. You’re worth it. To wrap this up, I’ll share a Dr. Phil quote. “If you love your kids, take care of their Mom.” Amen.
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The goal of my coaching is to help ASD Moms live a more empowered life, by improving their physical and emotional wellbeing. I can’t think of a better cause to get behind. Can you? Your family needs you to be the best you can be.
Coaching provides a judgement-free, safe space for you to get your bearings, explore your needs and own your power. Power, you say? Yep! It may be hidden, but it’s there. Let’s find it together. What makes this even better? Coaching takes place by phone! For more information go here: Coaching with Sue