First days of schools are here or lurking. For many school-aged kids it’s a source of anxiety rather than excitement.
Many of the kids that I work with, share that lunch time is the most anxiety filling time of a new school year. Who will they have lunch with? Will they be alone at a table and that set the course for the entire school year? Do they approach someone already at a table and risk rejection?
Being mindful that kids are anxious at this time of year is helpful for adults who support them.
Talk to your children about lunch time and how they can handle the social situation that may set the course for them for the year.
Listen, without judgment, to what they are struggling with even if it seems to you to be a minor detail. Their social world is of upmost importance during middle school and high school.
Help them know they have the power to also reach out to others and chart their own path rather than waiting on others to set it for them.
Talk to them regarding how to handle rejection from a peer and move on to another situation without it defining how they think of themselves.
Remember that even as an adult, we are navigating who we sit next to and the feeling of wanting acceptance.