October 01, 2021
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7 expert tips to handle difficult school drop-offs
Day one of school came, and we were ready to rock. Excited to see friends, make new friends, and launch into a new adventure. But then we got to the front door, and our kindergartner lost it. She didn’t want to go, and the tears flowed. We made it through days one, two and three, and then we were a week in. As we figured out routines for a successful school morning drop-off, each day was better than the one before.
Then, quarantines hit, and school closed for a time. We had to start the process all over again. School drop-offs can be difficult for many kids (my 5-year-old despises it). It becomes more challenging when you have to alter routines due to things out of your control, like a pandemic.
It’s important to recognize and validate your children’s feelings. They may be anxious about a new place, new people, or the ever-changing schedule.
This school year looks to be full of unknowns. Each week, we don’t know how many days we’ll be in school or how our routine will be thrown off. We may experience that first-day drop-off anxiety numerous times, and we can help by being upbeat and positive. It may not be easy, but our kids don’t need easy; they need safety and security, and we can help them feel safe about school.
You can help your kids feel safe and secure about school.
how to talk to your teen about drinking
Drinking is one of “those topics” that parents need to talk about with their teens. Here’s some help navigating this potentially difficult conversation.
What’s potentially difficult? There are state laws and your house rules. Other parents (and therefore your teen’s friends) may have different rules about alcohol. Drinking is an activity where there is often intense peer pressure on teens. Also, teen drinking is usually paired with other behaviors like drug use, sex, and violence. (Your conversation might go in some unexpected directions.)
State laws are a great place to start.
They’re black and white. Make sure you know your state’s laws regarding alcohol, especially the laws regarding purchase, possession, and internal possession. (“Internal possession” means your teen may not have been found with alcohol on his or her person, but they had alcohol in them based on a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.) Laws can vary by state, especially when it comes to parents allowing a minor child to drink at their home or private property.
This is a good place to transition from your state’s laws to your house rules.
Explain that there are many different opinions about alcohol. Your teen’s friends may have parents with different beliefs about drinking. That’s okay. What matters is the position you take as their parent and the actions you model regarding alcohol.
To complete your due diligence as a parent, you have to address some typical teen behaviors with alcohol.
Your goal isn’t to scare your teen but to definitely keep it real, give them facts, and leave an opening for further questions and future conversations.
If it isn’t already, plan on this being an ongoing conversation.
Ask your teen questions (but don’t interrogate them) about alcohol use among their peers, and try not to freak out about the answers. Ask them about their opinions and experiences with alcohol. Listen, don’t lecture.
When you think of conversations with your teen, please view communication as a two-way street. Give them conversationally what you would like from them. What do you hope for when you talk with your teen about drinking… or drugs, or sex? You’re hoping for honesty, transparency, authenticity, and quality listening. Give that to your teen so they can return it.
what we’re lovin’
This week’s picks come from James Woods, Fiancé to Marquita, Dad of 6, and the Community Outreach Specialist here at First Things First. Take a peek at his recommendations for this week because they are just THAT GOOD. Check ’em out 👀:
🔊 Amazon Echo is a great gadget to have. We love to use it to play music (music soothes the soul, right?), listen to our horoscopes, and communicate with the kids.
🃏 Uno is still one of the most fun games to play, my family really enjoys playing together. Hope the rules are still the same!
📗 Keep Running is a great book by a young, gifted author. This book shows you how to endure when life looks impossible. A great view from a young woman’s eyes on life and parenting.
share the love
Know a friend who would love reading all the relationship goodness we’ve packed in here? Go ahead and share it with them!