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Supporting Children During Transitions

New beginnings call on us to build strength and a positive view about what life will bring. Yet transitions involve uncertainty and can evoke our human tendency to worry.

A father told me how he worried for months about how his son would adjust to school. “The first day my son said good-bye in five minutes, and I realized I had wasted all that time being anxious about how he would do.” On the other hand, children don’t always adjust quickly, and knowing that it’s normal for adjustments to present challenges allows us to support children without fearing the difficulties will go on forever.

One of our Meher Schools parents once told me how much her father helped her by not worrying about her. “He always thought I would do fine.” What a gift we offer ourselves and our children when we can free ourselves of fears.

We can’t force ourselves not to worry. At least I can’t! Our ability to imagine what will happen in the future is one of our wonderful human capacities. However, the tendency to notice the negative and imagine the worst can shut down our ability to inspire confidence.

We can start by catching ourselves when we start to think catastrophically about our children’s abilities to handle new situations. Howard Glasser’s “Nurtured Heart Approach” teaches adults to observe and acknowledge positive attributes and behaviors that could easily go unnoticed. Recognizing children’s positive capacities builds their inner wealth and helps us keep letting go of unproductive anxiety. Nurtured Heart’s focus on what’s going right transforms the perspectives of adults and children.

In September the school will sponsor a Nurtured Heart training for parents. Be watching for information in Wednesday Messages.


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