“Lion heart goes to school” The book Moms are talking about
Separation anxiety is the obstacle many parents and little kids will face soon, as the beginning of the new school year approaches.
But what many families don’t know is that there are many steps they can take to reduce the anxiety in the little ones, and start enjoying the amazing experience of being away from home, learning new things and making lots of friends.
CaRo Mejía, author and creator of Lion heart goes to school, a children’s book used as a tool to reduce anxiety in kids attending school for the first time, shares her 7 tips to help parents be ready.
“After a very long process and looking for answers everywhere on how to help my son reduce his anxiety, I came up with a few tips on how to prepare for the first days of school, I hope other families can benefit from what I learned”, says CaRo Mejía.
Here are her tips:
- Select the right school for your little one paying attention to his or her personality. There isn’t a one-school-fits-all and your son or daughter is unique. Remember they will spend more than 15 hours a week in the place you choose.
- Spend time at the school with him or her many times before the beginning of classes. Go to the classroom and spend time there reading a book or drawing how it feels to be there. Show her the bathroom, playground, library and introduce the teachers, etc.
- If you prefer to create your own book instead of purchasing Lion heart goes to school, it is important to describe the new routine visually and verbally from the time they leave the house to the moment they come back home, that way you help reduce his anxiety by letting him know exactly what will happen.
- It is important that children take with them something from home. My book comes with a wooden heart that you can personalize with your little one, but you can choose something else, or even better, let him or her decide. Kids need something the can feel to make the transition easily.
- Validate emotions. Their feelings are as important now as they will be when they grow up.
- Don’t be afraid of calling emotions by their real names: sadness, anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, etc. Emotions don’t disappear magically by not speaking about them. They actually grow if we avoid them. Crying is ok and it is especially important for boys to hear it.
- Follow your instincts, they are always right! Teachers, the principal, other Moms will give you advice. Listen to them, they have good intentions, but only you know that little person who calls you Mom and looks up to you for guidance, do it with respect and giving him or her the tools to start experiencing the first adventures away from home.