One of the greatest gifts I think you can give your child who's having a tough time with drop off is the validation that their experience is real, validation that how they are having a hard time is legitimate. You honor that, you see that, "I hear that, we're just limited with options, you know, because I have to go to work. And there's no one who can look after you at home. But I want to work through this together. And I want to work through this with you to try to figure out a way forward."
So acknowledging and honoring for them that "I see that school is hard for you. And I'm not just going to be like 'tough, you got to go.' But I want to continually work with you on ways that we can make this more doable. So if that's getting you hooked in with the school counselor, so that you have support and respite at school throughout the day, talking to your teachers, working with the principal, whatever." Just a sense that you're communicating to them: "You're not alone in this, I have your back, I'm with you. We're going to work this out together."
That is one of the key things that adult clients I have, that didn't like going to school have said to me was the cool bit,, was when they felt supported by their parents. The problem is that most of them say to me, "I didn't feel supported to my by my parents, they just were like, 'tough go. You just got to get over it.' And nobody really acknowledged that school was hard for me and nobody really tried to support me in that." And that was the more painful piece a lot of adult and adolescent clients have told me is the 'not having the support from my parents' piece hurt more. So just bear that in mind that sometimes the only thing we can do as parents is to just tell our kids, "You're not alone. I'm with you and I have your back." Sometimes that's all we can do. Unfortunately. When our kids are in pain and suffering, but a lot of times that means more than you think it does.
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