August is Family Fun Month and Getting Ready for Kindergarten Month

August 9, 2021

These two ideas go hand in hand. If you are a parent of preschoolers... you have been placed in the privileged position of building our next generation.  Though raising preschoolers has moments of challenge by building fun and learning into your parenting practice the job becomes rewarding. To support the emotional health of your preschooler, first make sure you are taking care of your own mental health. Children thrive when their caregivers can model adaptive management to the ups and downs life brings. 

Along with the school supplies-and-clothes you may be looking for, I encourage caregivers to help their children become problem solvers. In day-to-day problems, help them take ownership and think about how they can be the solution. For instance if they get behind on their homework, encourage them to come up with a schedule to get back on track rather than you stepping in. If they have conflict with a peer, encourage them to first see what they can do differently rather than solving it for them. Teach your kids to solve problems, and you'll help them for life.

Over the years, I have had many opportunities to speak to groups of young people about facing life's difficulties and being successful. I often tell teenagers that there are two things they can do right now to improve their lives. The first is to stop blaming others for their problems and work on being the solution. I tell them that as long as they blame their problems on others, they give up the ability to fix them.  Encourage your kids to become problem solvers and solution-finders rather than problem-blamers.

It's important for parents to know that helping your children grow up emotionally-healthy does not require an advanced degree. Parents or caregivers: you have all you need to help your kids grow up emotionally resilient. Giving them structure, encouragement, pointing out their strengths, and openly showing them your unconditional love will go far in them becoming healthy-mature adults. If you're struggling as a parent, don't be afraid to ask for help. Programs like Appleseed’s SPARK program or your local Help-Me-Grow program are designed to help you be successful. 

-Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director

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