In Australia it is almost the end of the summer school holidays. For many kids this is a time of increased worry…
“Which teacher or teachers will I get?”
“Will I be in the same class as my friends?”
“What if the work is too hard?”
“What if my new shoes give me blisters?”
“What if someone teases me about my new hair cut?”
“Will I make friends at my new school?”
All our kid’s worries are genuine and worthy of attention. To help them talk about their worries and to help them get their worries out of their system try this version of a Pit Stop:
- Ask your child to imagine Shady and get them to ask their Shady, “What are you worried about?”
- As they say each worry write it down in a book (that you will keep for this very purpose). Encourage them to keep going by asking, “What else?”
- Keep writing until your child can’t think of anymore. (This could take anywhere between 5 mins and 30 mins)
- Give your child the list (if they can read). Get them to read the list and put an asterix next to the ones they have bottled up feelings about. (These are the ones they will need to express their feelings over before they can let them go completely.)
- For the ones without the asterix ask your child to ask Sparky “What now?” or “What do I do about this worry now?” Get your child to tell you what they heard, imagined, thought, saw, made up or however else they hear Sparky. If they can’t hear Sparky ask your Sparky on their behalf.
- Do what Sparky suggests for each worry without an asterix, for example if your child is worried about getting blisters Sparky might suggest taking spare shoes or a couple of Band-Aids in their school bag.
- When they have heard Sparky for each worry without an asterix, get them to imagine taking that worry off Shady and handing it to Sparky and get them to imagine Sparky letting each of those worries go one at a time.
- For the worries with the asterix (meaning they have feelings to express before they can let them go) ask your child to close their eyes and to ask Sparky to look after all these worries for them until they are ready to release their bottled up feelings over them. Get them to ask Sparky to let them know when it is time to have a pillow bash or a cry over them and that in the meantime they can leave all these worries to Sparky.
- Tell your child you will be there for them when they know it is time to release their bottled up feelings. Make an agreement that they can come to you for help when they are ready.
That’s it! I hope you and your gorgeous child or children have a wonderful school year!
PS Remember the support rules while you are helping your child: 1. Listen, 2. Say loving or neutral things and 3. Sparky’s advice is always best!