Psychological advice to facilitate the start of the school year

As calendar years begin on January 1, for many of us the year really begins with the start of the school year, In these first weeks of September when he is back from vacation and it is time to get back to the routine to face a new course.

For adults it can already be difficult to manage – (in the pre-crisis phase there was even talk of a new diagnosis called “post-holiday depression”) and in childhood or adolescence it was not going to be less.

    The end of summer and the return to routine

    As a child, I remember the days before going back to school, the mixture of sensations between the pain of the end of summer, the excitement of seeing friends, a certain nervousness in the face of the uncertainty of what would be. new subjects, new classmates and teachers. , etc.

    During these dates it is normal that our boys and our girls experience a large amalgam of thoughts and emotions. Just as the new school year prepares with new school supplies, new schedules and extracurricular activities, it can be very positive to spend a few hours also helping children see how this new season is going to be approached.

    Work on identifying what is important to them, what attitude they want to adopt in this next class, what kind of classmate, student, friend they want to be, and how they would like to see them act in different situations. , in a way that making them proud at the end of the day, or feeling satisfied while waiting for the holidays to come, can be a very useful experience for the little ones, and at the same time a rich experience to learn how to to know itself. oneself, to the other, and of build trust in parent-child relationships.

      Back to school: facing new directions and opportunities

      “If you don’t know where you are going, you can find yourself somewhere else,” said Yogi Berra, and this is something that new trends in psychotherapy and coaching are deepening and emphasizing more and more. Without direction, we drift. If we are not clear, of his being, of his essence, of what he wants, how he wants to be, where he is going … The easy thing is everyday events confuse your steps, Move the currents in different directions and make it difficult to access the port, and especially the port that interests you.

      At the psychological level, from the therapy of acceptance and commitment, we talk about values; what is important for you in the relationship of friendship, as a student, in your role as a learner, as a child … How do you want to be? You get a direction, a stable horizon to move forward. Having this clear will allow us to be able to follow the desired path when fleeting emotions, thoughts and doubts arise that may seek to take the reins of our actions and cause us to drift or stray from our course.

      Starting a new course can therefore be a great opportunity to take the time to see what this course will be like, what you want to do and how you want to be in the coming season. Talk about children’s goals and expectations for the next school year and how to meet them. Some observations or guiding questions that might be helpful would be:

      1. What is happening, what things are there in your life today that are working well, Are you happy or unhappy about it?
      2. How would you like this school year to be different from the previous one?
      3. During school weeks,how you want to invest your time and energy in school, In the playground, after school, extracurricular activities, homework …?

      These or similar questions can be used to determine where to spend time while you pay attention to the next lesson. Witnessing this declaration of intent allows people to act with meaning, knowing that what is done is for something, with meaning, thus avoiding to act with the autopilot. At the same time, it will allow you to act consciously, instead of reacting automatically to thoughts, emotions … that may arise.

        Let’s take an example … Values ​​and barriers in childhood

        If for a child it is important in his role as a pupil, his involvement, his curiosity to learn and understand what is explained, consistency as a habit to improve and grow, For example.

        When a teacher announces an upcoming work or exhibition, the insecurity of speaking in public, not knowing the subject well and being in the spotlight may arise, of not doing it right and getting a bad grade.

        It is possible that in the following weeks, when planning to start preparing for this work, barriers, thoughts related to these concerns come to him, so he would rather delay this responsibility of not paying attention and stop feeling this discomfort. , which each time because the lack of time gradually complicates the situation.

        Keep in mind the values ​​you have established, how you want to deal with situations, even live with the worry that might go wrong, and go in that direction, with that “how I want to be”, that is. is something that will make sense of what you do., that will make you proud of yourself, And will most likely improve your performance in different areas of your life.

        Unbeknownst to him, he will also be used to acting with psychological flexibility, learning to move towards what is important to him, to take the direction he wants even if the waves are moving, with difficult thoughts, worries, or emotionsThis is important because psychological flexibility is a central axis of personal well-being both in childhood and later in adulthood.

        Evaluate processes and evaluate results

        It can be recommended, since the course is fixed in quarters, raise these questions on a quarterly level and renew these commitments every 3 months, modifying them if necessary. In this line, it is also worth noting the difference between process or outcome evaluation.

        An exam can go wrong for many reasons, resulting in a poor result even though the student has done well during the course and learned the program. On the contrary, someone can get lucky and get a good result by chance.

        Focusing on processes means focusing on the quality of what is done, cultivating an optimal way of working, on which to rely, which generates stability and security in the medium and long term. Bonly roasting in results is short term and it can be dangerous because it can seem like something is working fine when it really isn’t, and it can lead to drastic or volatile changes.

        Focusing on the process, revisiting it if necessary but following a plan when it has been agreed that it is the best plan to follow, allows you to focus on the importance of the here and now, what needs to be. done now, instead of worrying about the results that will be achieved, thus also reducing the levels of stress and worry that can be generated by turning things around, worrying and ruminating.

        As obvious as it may sound, it’s easy to forget that the best way to get a good result here and now is invest energy in what needs to be done now and here (Study, for example), do not spend the time spent studying to bypass possible outcomes in order to anticipate future consequences.

        Prepare for the return to school on a psychological level

        Although the format of this one is completely free, an example of how to create and dissect what has been raised so far may be as follows:

        For each of the main roles played by the child in question, the target can be used, which includes certain values, as it should, in this role. The idea is that there are different ways of acting throughout the day or week., And some may involve “targeting” while others “miss the mark” against that value. It can be done with me – friend, student, I-son, I-as a member of a sports team …

        After establishing the values ​​for different areas of life, the next step is to specify what is done when it is given to the target, how it behaves here, and what ways to act are to miss the point.

        Another alternative can be to prepare a planning of the objectives in the sense of a value, for example: facing the value, as a child, of being “older” or “responsible”, there may be a number of goals or tasks that go in this direction: Take care to collect the tables, clean my shoes, buy breakfast on Saturday, make my bed, go alone to take the bus, be able to go to the movies with friends, go out until X a.m. the weekend … According to each case and vital moment.

        Given what it is to aim, what it is to miss the shot, it’s worth seeing what can cause the shot to fail, what things appear and cause the rudder to move and lose direction.

        In general, there can be internal (thoughts, emotions, etc.) and external (time, economic constraints, physical distance …). It is positive and practical to be aware of them, to know that they are there and to acquire the ability to identify them, so that when the fear of hanging and the thoughts related to it appearThe person can decide freely, whether he obeys this fear or acts on the basis of his values.

        in conclusion

        What will it be like to hit the target when a difficulty arises, and learn to stay the course even if the waves suggest hiding in the cellar, these are great lessons for today and tomorrow for our boys and girls, And exercises like the one suggested would be great for any other age group as well.

        And you, how do you want to face this new course?

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