This post is sponsored by TeamSnap, a company that does its very best to make back-to-school sports as easy as possible by providing the best tools to help teams and parents run their organizations smoothly.
As a new school year gets under way, your child may have to handle change in more than one arena. Does he have a new coach? A new teacher? Is she going to a new school? Have you moved to a new city? Will he be making new friends and playing on a new team?
Children react differently to change. One child may easily go with the flow; another may feel anxiety or stress. It all depends on his temperament, personality and your circumstances.
Whatever the newness is that your child is facing, there are several ways that you can help him accept and adjust to the changes.
Look for Things to Keep the Same
During a change, like moving to a new school and trying out for a new soccer team, try to keep some things the same. For example, what’s the routine before heading to practice or a game? Keep the schedule the same as you had it where you lived before.
Accept Your Child’s Disappointment
Your child may go through a grieving process that looks as she leaves something familiar behind and dives into something new. Don’t diminish her emotions, listen to how she feels, and gently remind her of the positives. Your coach seems really nice and that soccer field is awesome!
Give Your Child a Little Extra
Because change can stir up feelings of uncertainty and insecurity, a little extra attention from mom and dad will help your child deal with the stress. Be intentional about spending extra time with your child in the first few weeks of newness.
Look for Ways to Help Your Child Connect
Is your child playing on a new team? Invite one or two teammates over after practice to hang out or have a team cookout at your home.
Pinpoint Your Child’s Fears
Your child’s newness may come with a whole slew of fears and insecurities: Will I be bullied? Ignored? Labeled as a show-off or weak? Stereotyped because of my size or appearance? What if I fail?
When your child is facing a new situation in sports, it’s time for your radar as a parent to kick in. Listen well, observe actions, habits, reactions, and unusual behaviors, and ask discovery questions to help her process what she is feeling.
Parents, you know how hard it can be to be new in a job, town or neighborhood. Your child may feel those same anxieties. We always say that children are so adaptable, and that may be true for many kids, but we cannot assume that every child never has anxiety about how to handle change. Even if your child appears to be adapting easily, take some time to be sure there’s nothing hidden beneath the surface. Your parental radar will tell you if your child is struggling with change.
This post is sponsored by TeamSnap, who wants to help you focus on making your child’s youth sports experience a positive one. Their online team management makes your sports parenting job a lot easier!