Today I sent my oldest child, our precocious son, off to Kindergarten. There is no doubt that he is bright, eager, and excited for his first day. I know that he will make good friends, learn new things, grow in unprecedented ways, and have a ton of fun along the way. However, I would be lying if I ignored our collective jitters leading up to today. There have definitely been moments this summer that I have observed our confident, social, and goofy kid become quiet and reclusive as the reality of starting a new chapter of his life sinks in.
There is something about this back-to-school experience, and the feelings it conjures up, that reminds us of the inevitable challenges and “unknowns” that accompany any major life transition. “Back-to-school” is just one of many rites of passage (a/k/a transitions) we encounter on our journey through childhood and into adulthood. And as with any transition, it helps to know we are not alone and that we can directly affect the impact that the transition has on our lives. There has been so much research and insightful writing about transitions, so rather than re-invent the wheel, I have chosen to share three resources that I recently discovered and have found most helpful during this back-to-school season. Enjoy!
TED Talk: “The Power Pose” (Amy Cuddy)
Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, shows how "power posing" - standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident - can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
Blog Post: The Two Words That Suck Our Power Away (Deidre Maloney)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deirdre-maloney/self-empowerment_b_2323093.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS for the Soul
A blog piece on how reframing the question “What if…?” to “How can I…?” will put the power squarely back in your court.
Jitter Glitter (origin unknown)
Last week, at Kindergarten orientation, my son’s new teacher gave each child a poem on an orange piece paper with a small packet of green glitter attached with a staple. My son was instructed to place the packet of glitter – labeled “Jitter Glitter” - under his pillow the night before his first day of school. After googling “Jitter Glitter,” it appears that many teachers have used some version of this concept before, and yet my son and I were truly struck by the comfort and levity that this ritual provided. The poem reads:
The night before school is exciting and fun,
There is always so much that has to be done.
Your clothes are all ready; you backpack is, too.
Your class is full of interesting things to do.
So many questions going through your mind,
So many different thoughts of every kind.
Sometimes teachers and kids get the jitters down deep,
And that makes it hard to fall asleep.
This magic glitter is a present for you,
To help you be rested and ready for school.
Place the glitter packet under your pillow in bed,
The night before school starts when you lay down your head.
This glitter will help you sleep through the night,
And wake up feeling fresh and bright.
I’ll place the glitter under my pillow, too.
I can’t wait for tomorrow because I’ll get to see you!