Web Specials Available!

Personal Best Karate

Back to school Butterflies that feel like Dragons

Posted: May 17, 2019

By Master Christopher Rappold

Can you think back to the time when you were starting a new school year? For some of us it is a far off distant memory. It can be so easy as a parent to simply fall into the thinking of, “don’t worry, be happy” or “what’s the big deal”. Imagine though, for a moment, how you would be feeling on your first day starting a new job. In adult terms that is probably closest to the potential of how your child feels going to school on their first few days.

Knowing this, I wanted to offer some helpful tips shared with me over the year by some amazing Personal Best Parents.


1. Imagine if it was you. Instead of meeting your child with an “it’s no big

deal”. Take the time to listen to their concerns no matter how off base you

think they may be. Listen first, use solutions and suggestions second.


2. Set the tone with your confidence. When children sense you have a

high belief in their ability to handle what is in front of them, often times they

are able to borrow some your self-confidence. Gently and appropriately

reminding them of their past successes is also a great way to build their

feeling of certainty.


3. Create “look forward to” moments. If anxiety is elevated, perhaps a

nice thing you can do is schedule a couple of things your child looks forward

to in their week. It may be having a friend over or going to their favorite

place. We always do better when we have a few things in our future that

bring us to a mental happy place.


4. Block out down time. Especially in the first few weeks of school as the

children and teens transition into a new schedule with time requirements,

avoid taking on any extra activities. Set your child up for success by easing

them into a manageable routine, which provides plenty of time for school

productivity and down time recharge.


5. Help to create familiarity. Depending on the age of your child, a school

tour with you may be a nice way to ease them into feeling more comfortable

at school. Also volunteering your time to assist at school can be a nice way to

warm up your child into feeling more comfortable with their new



6. Create Relationships Early. The more interactions you have with the

teachers at the beginning of the year the better. Keeping the teachers in tune

with how your child is feeling actually makes their job easier. It enables

them to use the right strategy to fit your child, instead of playing hit or miss

as they get to know a child’s likes, dislikes and fears.


Starting a school year can add a degree of stress to you and your children. Take the time to think strategically by incorporating some of the suggestions provided. A little time invested in advance I know will make a strong start to what could be your best school year ever.

If you would like to have your child try our award-winning character based martial arts program that will reinforce family value and teach mental and physical skills to ensure they are safe, please go to the registration page.