preschool kid

First Day of School: Helping Your Child Deal with Separation Anxiety

“Will my child be able to survive a few hours without seeing me?”

“How can I prevent them from throwing a tantrum once I leave the classroom?”

If you’re about to send your little one to a preschool, these might be some of the questions that would constantly bug you, especially if you think that your child might experience separation anxiety once school starts.

Why Do Children Experience Separation Anxiety?

Children form close relationships with their parents and as they grow older, feelings of security and familiarity can be difficult to let go of. This is why making the transition from a home environment to a childcare or preschool setting without their primary caregiver in sight can cause feelings of dread and anxiety. These feelings can even worsen when children see unfamiliar faces around them. According to experts, separation anxiety and autonomy are closely related. When children learn to walk, they begin to assert their independence but at the same time, they are not ready to fully separate from their parents. This explains why children tend to cry or cling to their parents once they see them leave the classroom.

How Can You Help Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety?

The good things is, separation anxiety is temporary. There are ways that you can employ to help your child relax, overcome separation anxiety, and learn to look forward to going to school every day. Here are some strategies that can help you manage separation anxiety:

Practice at Home

dropping child off to school

Before the big day arrives, you can prepare your child by “playing school” at home. This is a great way to show your child what can be expected in a real classroom setting. Sing nursery rhymes, read stories, and then take a nap. You can also role-play and take turns playing the teacher, parent, and student.

In addition to practicing at home, you can also visit the child care center a few times so your child can meet their teachers and feel more familiar with the new environment. You can also ask the teacher how the daily schedule is structured so you can pattern your at-home role-play after it.

Make Goodbyes Short and Quick

It may sound simple but saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do. Goodbyes usually trigger outbursts and screams. While it might break your heart to hear your child cry as you leave the classroom, it is something that you must do. Don’t delay, don’t linger, hoping that they’d miraculously stop crying. Establish a goodbye routine so your child will know that it is time for you to leave. You can give your child a quick hug and kiss and then tell them that their teacher will take care of them while you’re away. Let them know that you will come back soon to pick them up.

Trust Your Teacher

Teachers are trained to handle preschool outbursts. They know how to divert your child’s attention and calm them down once you step out of the classroom. Once you and your child have said your goodbyes, muster up the courage to leave the classroom and let the teacher take over. Walking away doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent – you’re just letting your child and their teacher work it out together.

Always remember that it’s normal for some kids to feel sad, uneasy or have a meltdown during the first few days of school. While you’ve done your part to prepare your child for the big day, there’s no way you can predict how your child will act when the first day of school arrives. With the above tips in mind, you will be able to support your child during the transition.

exchange student girl having fun in town

For Expats: How to Help Your Kids Adjust and Feel at Home

Life as an international business consultant, trainer, lawyer or diplomat may be fun and exciting. You travel all over the world for work and in the process, get to see different countries and experience various cultures.

It is a constant vacation for many, but there are some who seek the permanence of being able to grow roots and develop lasting relationships. Children of expats often feel this way since they have to bounce around from school to school while their parents travel.

Finding a suitable international school for your children is a great option. This type of school has an internationally approved curriculum and hosts kids from different nationalities. The standards here are the same with international schools in other countries, which means that your children will be able to continue their studies with the least difficulty in case you need to transfer to another assignment.

International schools in Manila enjoy a healthy enrolment rate because of the location, areas of expertise and strong ties with the community. This just proves that there is more to choosing a school than just a good sounding name.

Ensure a Smooth Transition

Starting at a brand new school can be a huge challenge for any kid. Help make the academic transition as smooth as possible for your children. Take time to sit down with the school heads and administrators to get to know the house rules.

Get in touch with an expatriate like you who have stayed in the country and inquire for any advice in regards to the educational system of the place. Are there any first-hand experiences and setbacks you can learn from?

Think of What Your Children Will Like

Ask yourself what your children like about school. Alternatively, what are the factors that would cause them not to like the new school environment? This can be a great starting point in finding the right school. You are in the best position to assess what kind of environment your kids will thrive in.

exchange students with uniforms

If they are into sports like soccer, lacrosse or tennis, for instance, find one that has a strong athletics program. On the other hand, if your children are more into theatre and other forms of the arts, this should be what you focus on when you inquire.

Be Part of the School Community

Finding the right international school for expat children is also training for parents like you. Learn exactly how you can be a part of the community and be involved. Commit time to volunteer and make the school community a big part of your kid’s life.

You can also get acquainted with the other parents and make sure to be present in all the important school events, whether or not your children are involved. This will ensure that your time overseas will be more enriching and meaningful. It will also help your kids adjust much faster to the new country, culture and environment.

Besides these points, it will also help to have a look at the school curriculum and if it conforms to international standards. This will help you and your children in case you need to move to a different country for a new assignment. While moving is certainly not easy on kids, knowing that they can pick up from where they left off in terms of lessons and modules is a big advantage.

a teen looking at a broken mirror

What to Do When Your Tween Has Low Self-esteem

Sometimes, it’s hard to understand how your 4-year-old daughter who was so fond of beauty pageants, ballet recitals, and summer camps grew up to be this shy, aloof tween in middle school. Once, they were all about saying yes to new things and people; now, every opportunity is met with “I can’t do that” or “I will never fit in.” Believe it or not, this phenomenon is universal. Kids tend to have a healthy self-image in their early years, but as they progress into adolescence, they experience low self-esteem. This affects their academic performance, peer relationships, and family life.

Why Some Tweens Have Low Self-esteem

There are lots of reasons why a young person develops a negative view of themselves. For one, it can be a result of comparisons. Between ages 6 and 11, children become more aware of their differences from their friends. For sure, you’ve heard them saying that their classmate is way more beautiful than them or that their friend plays basketball better. This is normal behavior, but if the comparison keeps them from seeing their worth, that’s when it becomes a problem. When they reach their teen years, which is when lots of changes happen to their body, they might grow insecure about themselves.

Another reason why your child suffers from low self-esteem is that they think that people around them disapprove of them. They can be wrong, but that’s what they feel. Disapproval can take different forms. It can be you saying an offhanded remark when they failed to get into the soccer team. Or it can be their favorite teacher telling them that they’re disappointed by their math performance. When these things pile up, over time, it can result in lower self-esteem. And the closer they are to the person “frustrated” with them, the more they’re pushed into the pit of an unhealthy self-image.

How You Can Help Bring Back Confidence

smiling young woman

Although there are many reasons behind your child’s low self-esteem, there are many ways to restore it. Start with honest communication. Tell them that you notice that they’re going through something and ask if they want to talk about it. Never ask them what’s wrong. That’s only going to discourage them from opening up. Once they start talking, listen and don’t judge. Don’t invalidate their feelings, too. It seems petty to hear statements like “Olive is prettier than me” or “Leo always gets higher math grades,” but don’t ever belittle such sentiments. Instead, direct them to positive, unique things about them. Remind them of their worth.

It also helps to have them talk to a guidance counselor in school. Sometimes, when the issue is too personal, some kids don’t want to open up directly to their parents. They prefer strangers who have no attachment whatsoever to the problem. If you’re still on the search for your child’s middle school, consider sending them to elementary schools in Gilbert, Arizona. Doing so will help your child understand how God sees and values them. If you’re looking for hassle-free student application, try online enrollment.

Finally, if your child’s self-esteem comes from something negative that you’ve said intentionally or unintentionally, apologize. It doesn’t matter if it was a joke. What matters is that they’re hurt. So tell them you’re sorry. Ask them how you can make things better.

Overall, remember that your tween’s unhealthy self-image affects everything in their life. Don’t let them stay in this pit. Restore their confidence by always reminding them of their worth.

Young adult showing her resume

First-Timer Applicants: How to Write a Resume

For first-timers, job hunting can bring a “butterflies in your stomach” feeling. While finding employment nowadays is easier through online job hunting sites and social media, one aspect of it that hasn’t changed is how to let employers know about our qualifications. That’s where resumes come into play. A resume gives useful information about you and how you’re fit for the job in many different categories. But you can’t just put anything in the resume. Believe it or not, there’s a right way to do it. Make sure that they will read what you want them to know while trying to focus on your strengths. If you’re looking for a job soon, read these before finishing your own resume:

Emphasize and Capitalize

The main purpose of a resume is to let the employer know what you can do for the company and how you can help them with what you have. Every position available has certain credentials that they’re looking for, so you need to do your research on what they need. Once you find that you have a specific strength that you can play on, then it’s time for you to capitalize on that skill. You can craft the resume to focus on that skill. Include any relevant education and training in the form of conventions and seminars. This is to let the company know that you’re not only good at something but that you’re actually improving your skill. For example, with supply chain and logistics recruiters, it’s best to show that you have experience in activities such as transportation and warehouse management.

Extracurricular Activities

Job seeker reviewing his resumeAlong with your educational background and relevant training, you can also include non-academic activities. Some companies look for people who know and can do more than what the job qualifications entail, especially with how industries are always changing the way they do business nowadays. You can also include advocacy that you’ve participated in such as fun runs and cleanup drives as well as other talents such as playing musical instruments or sports. The way companies look at applicants now is multi-dimensional compared to back in the day, so you can be as dynamic as you want.

Better References

References help your potential employers get a third-person point of view of how you are. Some people tend to include anyone they know, but that’s not a good idea if you want to give a good impression. It’s advisable to include notable references such as other professionals or people in a position that you know personally and who know how you work. Once the company contacts them, they know what to say and can provide a concise and fair answer to the company’s questions about you.

Speaking of ever-evolving media, there are online references where you can also gain tips for creating your resume for the best results. Some companies even prefer that you create yours using their websites. No matter what medium you use, you should remember to be accurate and honest with every word that you put in it.