September 13, 2017 3:02 pm
Updated: September 13, 2017 3:21 pm

Jill’s House: Adjusting to the back to school schedule

Jill Officer's daughter, Camryn, excited to head to her first day of grade one.

Jill Officer / Submitted

Canadian Olympic gold medalist and Winnipeg mom Jill Officer gives us a twice-monthly look behind the scenes of her dual life in her blog, Jill’s House.

While I was away for the first week of school (curling season already!), I have been reminding my husband that just like last year, our daughter might come home to him and have a complete meltdown.

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Like many parents, I was looking forward to the start of the school year after a July full of camping and an August full of juggling training, practice and Camryn as I had no daycare for her that month.

But there was also some apprehension, some being “on guard” for what kind of emotional meltdown might happen after school.

I remember all the feelings Camryn came home with for the first couple of weeks of school last year and how challenging it was for all of us. So while I was happy to be back into the school routine, I’ve been quietly waiting for what I thought would be inevitable.

But, so far so good!

While Camryn has realized that grade one is more work than kindergarten, she has been happily coming home expressing that she has had a great day!

However, I know it’s still early and we are not necessarily free and clear.  And that’s okay.  I know that home is her safe place.  I know that home is where she can let it all out.

The main thing is that if she does breakdown, or comes home and starts crying into her spaghetti at supper time, that we validate her feelings.

This is so important! I mean, validating feelings is important all the time, not just during the first few weeks of school. But we need to recognize that our kids might be more sensitive during this time. They are trying so hard to keep it together all day!

We might think that their feelings are ridiculous or unwarranted, but it is what they are feeling. They are just kids. We need to help them recognize the emotion, not shame them for having them.  I cannot stress this enough!

So when your child comes home from school and they want to be alone, or they want to curl up in your lap or they start crying into their bowl of food, tell them their feelings are normal. And remember, any of your feelings are too!

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