In our role as counselors, we would meet on a regular basis with your child only after discussion with you and mutual agreement. However, on occasion, we might invite your child to participate in a meeting with another child or in a group setting to work on promoting positive social relationships within the school community. If you do not wish for your child to participate in such activities, please notify the counselors.
Several weeks of school have now passed, and you may have already weathered whatever upheaval was to come in your child’s transition from summer vacation to school. For many children this probably included being tired out, cranky, or nervous. For younger children, you may have seen what’s called “regression,” which refers to the temporary loss of developmental milestones that have already been reached. What’s happening is that kids are expending so much energy in navigating the transition process that resources are taken away from maintaining other systems at the previous level of functioning. Some children act drained and ready to fall apart while others are less independent and seem to need more attention. This may reflect some of the same depletion of resources, but may also represent a reaction (mild protest) to the new forms of independent behavior required of them in school (which they may receive with some ambivalence). In almost all cases, these signs of apparent immaturity are short-lived. With time and with parents’ understanding, children soon resume their previous levels of functioning and go on to consolidate new maturity skills.
In some cases, however, there may be some delayed response that you’re yet to see. For some kids, there is an excitement about returning to school and seeing old friends that carries them over the adjustment hump. Reality doesn’t hit until several weeks later when it sinks in that, alongside the socializing, there are many new academic demands being made on them. Some kids begin the year with a honeymoon period, driven by a positive attitude and strong motivation, but are destined for more bumps in the road as the challenges persist and intensify. We describe these scenarios not to worry parents but rather to alert you that it can be normal for the adjustment process to last well into October, and to reassure you that things usually even out. Keeping in good contact with teachers is always important to ensure that things are moving along the right track, and if you have any questions about transitional difficulties, please feel free to contact one of us.