With the new school year also comes feelings of excitement, uncertainty and worry for our students. Will my class be fun? Will my homework be too difficult? Will I do well on exams? Will I make friends?
Oftentimes, children and adolescents may exhibit signs of frustration or anger when they cannot figure out how to, or feel as though they are unable to, talk about their experiences or emotions. Being there for them is important in encouraging their success, teaching them to communicate, normalizing their feelings, and shaping them into healthy adults.
With children and adolescents, communication can minimize anger and build healthy, lasting and supportive relationships. Check out the article below from Edutopia by Elena Aguilar for some useful tips on communicating with children/adolescents about how their time at school is going.
Below, an excerpt from the article:
“How many times have you asked your child, “How was school today?” and been frustrated by the lack of response? As a parent, I’m guilty of asking my son this question all the time, even though I usually don’t get much in return.
Sometimes (to be honest), I haven’t had the energy for a real conversation. Other times, I just can’t think of what to ask. As a teacher, I have often wished that kids would share stories of the awesome things we were doing with their parents, but I couldn’t figure out how to make that happen.
Now that my son is in middle school—where communication from teachers is less than it was when he was in elementary school and more stuff is happening at school that I need to be aware of—I’ve identified a list of questions that draw out important information. I wish that when I was in the classroom I’d been able to offer this list to parents so that they could hear about what we were doing in our class.”