“Limitations Live Only in Our Minds. But If We Use Our Imaginations, Our Possibilities Become Limitless.”
That’s a quote by Jamie Paolinetti, American Schroeder Iron Pro Cyclist, suggesting that our imaginations can do much for us in the real world.
He might be on to something.
With September approaching we realize, It’s that time of the year again. A child’s long, but seemingly short, summer has come to it’s end. Those Staples, and Office Max commercials appear, and every child can feel it in the atmosphere – school is coming.
This may bring anxiety to the parent also, as most parents care about their child’s education. It’s a new year, and you need some fresh ideas to assist the anxious child.
There are a few, unorthodox, ways that you the parent can maximize your child’s learning experience for the 2010 – 2011 school year.
Your child’s imagination should do the trick.
Charlotte Reznick, Ph.D, is a child’s educational psychologist. She suggests in her Psychology Today column, that imagination could help your child deal with the anxieties of the new school year.
“…a new teacher, classmates, grade, or school can trigger fear, anxiety, and depression – not to mention very real physical symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches, and insomnia.”
Of the six methods Reznick suggests, three very interesting ones caught my eye. Methods she called, “Draw the Fear,” “Talk to the Symptom,” and “Encourage the Drama.”
Drawing the fear involves having your child doodle on paper what it is they are afraid of. Reznick explains that it helps the child to address the trauma, and separate from it.
This method is interesting, as it seems to teach the child conflict management. Instead of letting anxiety overwhelm him/her, it allows the child to take control.
Reznick goes on to say:
“Once she [he] has a picture, she can talk to it, find out why it’s trying to scare her, strike a bargain with it, surround it with a soothing color bubble, and so on.”
Reznick’s second method is called, “Talk to the Symptom”
When your child is so stressed they begin to have anxiety pain, Renick suggests three questions that will make your child’s anxiety pains go away. She suggests deep breathing and these three questions:
1. What color is it? (the problem)
2. What shape is it?
3. How heavy is it?
Then, after more breaths, ask him/her again.
This makes me think of the method, “Kissing a boo-boo” that parents use already. Again, it’s that wild and powerful imagination of the child that helps him cope.
In conclusion, Reznick tells us about, “Encourage the Drama” which seems to embody the whole point of all of these methods. She explains it:
“For kids whose nature tends toward drama, acting out their ‘first day of class’ worries and troubles is a wonderful way to release them. Let them play it out-with puppets, with their bodies, with anything their imagination suggests. It’s amazing what creative solutions come up when given free reign.”
For the complete list of Dr. Charlotte Reznick’s methods, visit: Psychologytoday.com
Psychology Today: Charlotte Reznick; www.psychologytoday.com