Whilst my daughter isn't back to school until Tuesday, some of you might be experiencing those back to school niggles today, in anticipation of going back after half term. It may have only been a week's break, but even a week can be enough to cause some children to anxiety.
So I wanted to share something with you. One of the things I have done with my little girl, when she gets a bit anxious about going back to school and being away from me, is to think about the stars. Stars are a beautiful visual image to use, in so many different ways.
We can talk about how, just as the stars seem to disappear in the day, (they are always there, we just can't see them as clearly), I am still present and thinking of her, even though she can't see me. We also use the Relax Kids "star breathing" sheet, following the star with our finger and breathing in and out steadily as we do so, slowing our breathing and helping to regulate our emotions. I have given her a small glow-in-the-dark star, one of those you can stick to their ceilings, which she can keep in her pocket and use to trace the points and remember to breathe steadily when she feels a bit overwhelmed at school. And it works as an anchor, too. For those unfamiliar with the term, "anchoring" is an effective way to train your body to quickly relax by making an association in your brain between a state of relaxation and peace, and touching a specific spot on your hand or wrist. So, we've used the star as a source of comfort and calm for her.
And we talk a lot about being a "star". Relax Kids have a wonderful range of cards and CDs which really help children to recognise their qualities, and help them to choose how they are going to act that day, or prompt them to think of an affirmation: healthy star, kind star, courageous star, calm star . . . And sometimes, just reminding her that she is a loved, beautiful, caring star, can give her the boost of confidence she needs to walk tall through the classroom door, shining brightly.
For more information about our classes, products, or the Relax Kids programme, please do send me a message. You can find the Star Breathing sheet here: http://www.relaxkids.com/store/downloads/Relaxation)