You guys who start after Labor Day are so lucky—school is in full swing over here in Southern California! This year as my kids get settled into their new classes, reunite with friends, and start a new year of learning, I wanted to come up with some fun, meaningful encouragement to share with them. Whether they’re in kindergarten or high school, positivity and support go such a long way. Let’s make sure they all get started on the right foot with these 10 helpful things to tell your kids on the first day of school.
Confidence Is Everything
Tell them how much you believe in them and why they should believe in themselves! It’s hard to be yourself when it’s the first day of a new school year. There are new classmates, new teachers, maybe it’s even a new school. It can be hard for kids of all ages. But by giving our kids confidence to be themselves, we’re actually giving them protective layers to crush life and overcome so many challenges along the way.
Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
Life can be full of disappointments—they could be upset for not being in their BFF’s class or being on a team with someone they don’t get along with. There are valuable lessons in those uncomfortable moments! How we learn and grow from them is what it’s all about.
Be Kind In Person and Online
It seems obvious, but living in a digital age we could always use a reminder! I always ask my kids to put themselves in the other person’s shoes to gain perspective and practice empathy. If they are on the receiving end of negative comments, remind them that hurt people hurt people—it’s more about them than it is about you.
Learn From Your Mistakes
I tell my kids that they don’t need to be the best at everything they do, but to try as best as they can. There’s no need to get a perfect score on every test, a perfect grade in every class—study hard, do your best, and learn from past mistakes.
Attitude Is Everything
Sometimes we need an attitude check! Even as adults! (Well, especially us adults sometimes!) If they’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated about something, give them outlets or tools to help them pause, reflect, and reconnect with a different attitude. Sometimes it’s as easy as stepping outside and taking a couple of deep breaths.
After a certain age, I want my kids to be able to handle their own schedules. Mom is not always going to be there to keep track of everything! For my older kids, it’s up to them to manage their homework schedules, prioritize projects, and keep track of when they have dance or lacrosse practice.
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There’s Power in Apologies
True, meaningful apologies go a long way in life. I’ve always instilled the importance of sincerity in my kids. If something’s come up in their lives with a friend or even a sibling, I want them to hear the other person out, to listen, and offer a sincere apology for their part in whatever miscommunication took place. That’s the key to lifelong friendship.
Be a Friend To Everyone
Imagine how much nicer the world would be if we were all just a little kinder—more inclusive and welcoming. I want my kids to be the ones that sit with the kids that are alone, to ask others to join in when they’re playing a game—inclusivity is cool! I tell my kids to be a team player, meaning treating others with kindness and making sure that everyone who wants to feels included.
Shake It Off
We’re not a ‘positive vibes only’ kind of place—some days are hard! And it’s okay to be sad, disappointed, or upset about things. But let’s show our kids how to shake it off so it doesn’t ruin our whole day. There’s power in sitting with a bad situation, reflecting on it, and then moving on to take control of your day again.
Love Is Limitless
This is more for us, than for our kids, but I have to share! No matter the age of my kids, I hide little notes in their backpack or lunch box. Especially on the first day of school! They may roll their eyes, but deep inside it shows how much you care. There’s no better reminder that they are never alone and there is always someone there cheering them on every step of the way.