The beginning of the school year has many joys and challenges. As parents it is easy for us to want to solve problems for our children. However, with each new school year comes new levels of maturity and it is good for us to allow children to struggle and learn for themselves. If we stay available they will come to us if and when they need our help.
One thing that parents can do to help is to foster positive emotions. There is good reason to believe that positive emotions support social skill development and academic success. It is not hard to see the connection between a good attitude and making friends, or learning new skills.
When we promote positive emotion it does not mean that we ignore negative emotions. Children need to be able to talk with their parents about frustrations and solutions. When we promote positive emotions we are keeping children from dwelling on troubles and reminding them of the ways that God is at work in their life.
One way to do this is to encourage your child to pay attention to the good things that happen each day. When you see your child after school, make the list of happy things the first priority. Help your child to reflect on what benefit they received and to consider if someone should be thanked. Gratitude is a powerful characteristic of resilience.
After the listing of good things there can be time to talk about frustrations. You will likely note that your children will develop in their skills of problem solving as they combine their gratitude with brainstorming solutions.