When they’re little we are their protectors constantly watching, supervising and keeping them safe. Once they go to daycare or pre-school, we hand over some of that sense of responsibility. With the next step transitioning to school it becomes more amplified, because with the school yard comes new challenges. As our child is growing, they will face their own new challenges every step of the way. And with that we may too, because we’re not there to solve it, sort it out or manage it for them. Nor should we be. This is the time for them to learn and develop the skills to problem solve, to discover more about themselves and grow.

When they’re little we are very much a part of the discovery phase helping them along the way. Sometimes a lot, a little – once school commences – our role in this is magnified, the fact actually that we can no longer protect them from all the dangers, challenges or hurdles they will face. This is a new development phase for them to build on their own strengths. Maybe we’ve over-protected somewhat or not, maybe we’ve not enabled these strengths from early on, then it’s time now to step back, to empower them to problem solve and come up with their own ideas, solutions and ways to handle what will come. We absolutely support and nurture the process yet we’re not there watching anymore. Unlike the playground in the park, our children make their own way around the school yard and classroom.

Encourage verse discourage. Come from a place of what you want rather than what you don’t want. Enable your child to language what they want rather than what they don’t want. Focus on why it’s important for them, for you and what it will mean for both of you and for them in their new environment. The best protection we can offer our children now as they transition to school is the power of language. The ability to express themselves is very valuable. We can teach them to learn to articulate and say what they want to say. This is not just of the obvious, but the less obvious and the unsaid. We can be involved in encouraging them to talk about what they see and hear. Listening is now key, listen for what they’re saying or not yet saying, and encourage them to put language to what they’re wanting, what they’re feeling, what they’re experiencing and how they’re behaving. Listen importantly to what they are thinking? What is the thinking behind their behaviours? This will be key to your success now in transitioning to school, listen to their thinking. Hear what is not being said yet. This is the key to discovering and supporting their journey as they move forward into their new environment.