My child went back to (grad) school... am I supposed to still get jitters?

Back to School!

A topic that can evoke anxiety for children, as well as for parents.

Last week my son went back to school... grad school. From the moment he discussed his dream of attending grad school, the daunting application requirements, and his nervousness and uncertainties of getting in and paying for it, I could feel my mama anxieties begin to kick in. I had work to do, on myself... to help soothe my own feelings so as not to place my fears upon his.

Re-parenting and doing deep inner work allowed me to separate my anxiety from what were my son's own natural trepidations about starting a new venture. My best parenting comes when I am clear and able to stay present to hear my children in their emotions, not when their feelings are mixed up with mine.

I am thinking of all of you parent's who are holding your little one's hearts as they start a new school year. No matter the chronological age of your "little one," you will most likely feel the energetic pull of both their excitement and their struggle. Because let's face it! The first day of school is hard! Whether it's pre-school at 3, elementary school at 5, middle school or high school, college at 18 or above, or grad school at 26. It's new, different, and can be quite scary.

Let's look at the importance of becoming aware of our own pulls and reactions inside. In other words, why re-parenting is so important?

Let me start with three reasons that have been fundamental for my own healing and I believe you may find them equally important!

  1. Self clarity!  With clarity we become our own best ally and advocate. We become a true friend to ourselves. And you matter!
  2. Your relationships!  With your children, partner, parents, friends. As we know ourselves better, we begin to have more genuine compassion for others in our lives. Our relationships grow in authenticity as we meet ourselves with deeper connection and understanding.
  3. Healing generational patterns!  As we consistently notice, honor, and attend to ourselves we are healing old wounds. A lineage of wounding that will not be handed down to future generations.

As consciously aware parents we seek to remain the steady calm in our children's life as they begin their new school year journey. In order to do that, we check in with our own anxieties and fears regarding this transition.

  • Will our child be safe?
  • Will they be happy and make friends?
  • Will they be seen for who they truly are or asked to fit in a box?
  • Will they be challenged?

These questions and more may be filling your mind as the days approach. Allow yourself quiet reflection time to check inside. Are these fears for your child or could they be tapping into a childhood story of your own? Clarity with our own story allows more space for us to truly be able to see our child for who they are. This inner work we're doing is healing generations to come.

As I felt into my son's beginning of a new schooling journey last week, I felt a familiar tug of both nervousness and excitement. I have the luxury of many first day's of school with my 26 year old son, and so I was able to notice the change inside of me. I felt the shift of no longer being directly attached to his stressors and was able to feel the true joyful aspect that accompanies the anticipation of a new journey. His new journey.

My heart is with all you mama and papas whose babies are beginning their first days of school, online or in person, public or home school, last first days of elementary, middle or high school. Offer gentle love and support to your own heart as you are there for your child and their big transition. Offering ourselves support as we caretake, is re-parenting in action.

Many Hugs,

Dr. Trish.


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