Ninja Parenting For A Back-To-School Boost
What’s your Back-To-School flavour?
Do you approach the new term with the shocked resistance of a teenager whose been asked to get off COD and tidy their room?
Or do you crawl towards the shimmer of light at the end of the August tunnel, smacking your lips and croaking “water”, whilst your brood dance a crazy carnival procession over your head?
Perhaps you’re She Who Hums, whilst holding everything in a balance of organised perfection and if the on-going personification of calm and poise?
I’m No 2.
But I’m also a little bit No.1. (Not that I have EVER played COD).
You see, August has been quite a busy period and I am slightly (she says gnawing her nails and twitching) counting the days until the start of school.
However, both my eldest and second eldest have got a big year ahead of them.
Power launches into life.
Pix hits her GCSE finale and Roo is heading into the big, wide world of secondary school. This makes me feel as though we’re on the brink of a change – a big change. Aysha is growing UP.
And Roo …. Is going to get hormonal.
I want to be prepped.
I also want them to be prepped for a year that – despite being at school – is going to be as wonderful as possible for them.
So, amongst getting battered black and blue in the Clarks stampede and weaving through the aisles of Staples in the Stationary Buying Blitz, I’ve persuaded them to boost their inner mind-sets for a Back-To-School-Explosion-Of-Amazingness (with Ninja-like stealth). Here how:
First off, help your spring-offs to prep their headspace by having a chat about how they see the next school year.
Do this Surreptitiously.
With a capital S.
Maybe have a casual chat in the car as the music is playing? Or throw it in the mix whilst you’re trying to get them to eat their vegetables at dinner?
Find a sneaky, super-market-music way of allowing them to verbalise some of their worries, concerns, hopes and plans to action etc.
Once you’ve slyly eeked out your children’s hopes and fears, ask them what 5 things would make this year absolutely AWESOME.
You may not want to use the word awesome.
It seems to make them suspicious.
Avoid SICK, RADICAL and KICKASS too … unless of course you’re a sick, kickass parent who usually uses this vocab.
Encourage your child to spread their Five Most Awesome Things over their grades, friendships, hobbies, sports and perhaps how they want to get on with their teachers (or any that specifically apply to your young person).
Grab some paper and pens and whilst they are malleable ask them to sit down and write their Five Most Awesome things down.
Ask them to imagine moving through September – the first foundation block of this perfect year.
Guide them through imagining how each day would build upon the next, each month build upon the next and see their perfect days unfolding. Ask them to write everything down as they go. How are they feeling? What are they doing? How are they progressing? What is their energy level like?
Unless your child is arty, asking them to draw symbols and images to illustrate some of these notes would probably be pushing them too far. But if your child IS up for it, ask them to make pictures to. Images engrave themselves the right brain and the subconscious mind more powerfully than words, but even without pics, setting intentions for the year will still activate an increasingly positive mind set.
Once this is finished, your child can either put their notes up in their room.
I would suggest putting them on the kitchen fridge (or is it just my kids who constantly go to the fridge and survey the contents like they’re scouting hopefully for some long-lost Christmas parcel that they overlooked last year?)
Final hint: If you are thinking “when the heck am I going to get Billy-Bob-Joe to sit down and do Step 3?”, worry not.
I have found that the most magical twenty minutes in the parenting day is the moment you say “bed time.”
At that point it would seem that young people are putty in one’s hand.
“Five more minutes?” they plead like small puppies with kitten eyes.
In this moment, take a deep breath, press your lips together, grab the pens and paper and declare, “You can have an extra 20 minutes, BUT ONLY IF … (fill in the blank)…”
I wish you luck, my friend.