By Micki Lavin-Pell, M.S., M.A. Marriage and Family Therapist, Jerusalem
If your child is in primary school, plan one fun activity with them every day. Make sure you tell your child about this activity in the morning just before going to school, so that they have something to look forward to. This activity can range from building something, baking, playing with a favorite toy, gardening, painting, dancing to some music- you name it. Whatever you choose, make it fun for the both of you. This will also help you to enjoy your day more and create a much nicer environment for the entire family.
Another important thing to do to prepare your child for school is to talk them through what their day will be like. It is important that your child feel that they know what they are going to. Sometimes the fear of the unknown is more painful for a child than anything else. The more a child feels that they know what to expect, the more settled they will feel about going, and the less of a hard time they will give you. Also, allow space for your child to express any fears that they may have about going. If they tell you about their fears do not tell them “not to be silly,” or push away their fears. Instead, acknowledge that this is how your child feels, and that those feelings are normal and OK.
If you have a teenager in high school, help them to nurture positive friendships, talk to them about safe and fun activities they may take up. Encourage and enable them to gather materials they may need for their activities. Even if they have an after-school job, encourage them to relax as well. It is important for your teenager to learn that they must have leisure time as well. It is up to you, as their parent to model this for them. No matter how old you are, fun is an essential part of life; for this is what helps all of us to get through the rougher parts of life.
Instilling fun into your every day is the key to life long success, and a happy family. Remember that having fun and being successful go hand in hand.
Micki Lavin-Pell is a Marriage and Family Therapist in Jerusalem. For more information or to contact Micki, check out her website: http://www.rescuerelationship.co.il
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