Podcast: Helping Your Child Navigate New Beginnings

Change can be scary, that’s why experts at the Florida Center for Early Childhood recommend helping your child navigate new beginnings through open dialogue and encouragement.

helping your child navigate new beginningsWhether it’s moving to a new house, hanging out with a new group of friends, or starting a new school, children can be apprehensive when it comes to change.  That’s why it’s important for parents to mentally and emotionally prepare their children to go back to school or face other new beginnings.

In this episode of Centering Kids, early childhood advice from the experts at The Florida Center, host Kristen Theisen interviews school-based mental health therapist, Tia Nagel, on how parents can go about helping their child navigate new beginnings by creating a mental health checklist to help ease any anxiety their child might face. Nagel, who serves students and their families at Taylor Ranch Elementary School in Venice Fla., also stresses the importance of exercising as a family, experiencing things together, and opening up to your child.

“The first day of school can be tough on little kiddos for sure,” said Nagel. “We have a lot of little kids just starting school, a lot of little kindergartners who are very confused about where to go, what to do, or how to act, and it all can be very overwhelming. A lot of it comes down to fitting in, meeting new classmates, finding new friends, and also developing new relationships with a new authority-like figure, a teacher, that they see five days a week.”

According to Nagel, parents often expect their children to share their feelings, but never think about expressing their own feelings of uncertainty or apprehension with their child. She also warns about the infamous “I need to talk to you” phrase which can automatically evoke stressful feelings.

To learn more ways you can be helping your child navigate new beginnings, read Nagel’s blog, How to Mentally and Emotionally Prepare Your Child for Back-to-School

Click here to listen to our entire first season of our Centering Kids Podcast.