It always started with new shoes...
The trip to Sears was the signal to me that summer was coming to an end and it was time for school to start again. Like all kids, I had grown over the summer and those school shoes I abandoned at the beginning of summer just didn't fit.
But that trip to Sears also signaled time to resurrect some of the old anxieties: what will school be like this year? what teachers will I have? Will I make new friends?
It also brought on those other concerns that I didn't know how to handle...what if I'm not smart enough? what if I don't make any friends? what if...? I became irritable and hard to like over those last days of summer.
Kids don't get up in the morning and think "I can't wait to go to school and be a failure!" or "I'm so glad my family finds me intolerable".
They also don't always know how to put words to their concerns to help the adults in their lives understand what's going on. So what do we do?
Well...how we communicate is important in these situations. If we don't understand what's going on with our kids, or our spouse, or with anyone we care about, we have to be mindful of how we communicate our concern and our support.
There's a huge difference between "why are you being so stupid?" and "you seem upset. I'm concerned about you...tell me what's going on and I will see if I can help."
What would you prefer to hear?