From tears of joy and clingy goodbyes, to seeing their child in their school uniform on the first day of school, all this can be a milestone for parents. However, for some parents this could mean the end of an era when the parent was the absolute centre of their child’s world.
Starting school can be an exhausting business; emotionally, physically, socially and mentally. Kids’ life coach at My World- Life Coaching Studio, Johandra Nehoya says that the emotional part is the most important.
“This involves building your child’s confidence before they start school to instill a sense of self belief. Children should know that they do not have to be affected by how other people treat them, but by believing in who they are they can achieve anything they want to achieve,” she explains.
Johandra also highlights the importance of communication skills in children saying that a child should be able to communicate how they feel about different situations. “They should be able to communicate when they need something because you will find kids who go to school but do not know how to communicate when they need something,” she says.
According to Johandra, parents should also consider teaching their children about identity, especially for both grade one and grade eight. “Teach your child that they are who they say they are and not who other people say they are. They also need to accept who they are as human beings, knowing that you are different, unique and that each person have their strengths, talents and weaknesses.
As a parent you also need to teach your child how to stand up for themselves. When it comes to bullying, a child should know how to stand up for themselves. They should also know how to deal with the situation. It’s different when a teacher is bullying you compared to a peer bullying you. However, we often confuse respect for fear and out of respect we say nothing. So a child should be able to stand up for themselves because a teacher is not supposed to bully them,” she advises.
When it comes to friends and relationships, Johandra says that children should be taught that they need to have a good friend and be a good friend. They need to know how to be kind, how to care about others and most importantly to be good friends to themselves. If you love yourself and you are a good friend to yourself, then you will know when someone treats you wrongly. Parents should teach their children that they need to have respect for themselves, respect for others and have respect for things. Honesty is also a good thing that one could teach their child.
“Before kids go to school they need to know that learning is fun, it’s getting to know about life and how life works. And by introducing your child to learning already at home, it makes it easy for them to understand,” alludes Johandra.
Johandra further suggests that children who will be going to high school should know how to set goals ahead, how to plan and schedule their days, weeks and year. Not just to get into something but to plan it in advance. Parents should also use negative experiences to teach their children about life lessons.
“One important thing that you can start teaching kids even from kindergarten is having empathy. Empathy is putting yourself in other people’s shoes, understanding that the other person might feel a certain way when you say something or sometimes you don’t know how their situation at home is like. Basically just having an understanding of people’s emotions and what people go through in life is important from a very young age,” says the kids’ life coach.
Getting ready, academically
For grade one, Johandra says that parents should teach their children how to distinguish colours, recognise letters and how to count at least to fifty or hundred. She stresses that understanding numbers is crucial because if children do not get the understanding of how numbers work, it causes them to struggle with mathematics later on. According to Johandra, the ability to tie their shoe laces is a good determining factor that a child is ready for grade one.
“It’s a good thing if parents can have a culture of reading at home; teach your children what pictures communicate and the story that’s being told. Instill the culture of reading. If a child reads by the time that they go to school, that’s great and if they don’t it’s not the end of the world, but as long as they are introduced to books at a young age,” she says.
Moreover, Johandra says that teaching kids about independence before they start grade one is also of essence. Children should be able to take responsibility and be able to pack up their own toys and keep the area clean. Same when a child gets to grade eight there should be a level of independence. Parents should not do that much for children, but rather just follow up and check on their children instead of doing things for them.
“Kids develop differently and as a parent you should be able to know when it’s the right time and when the child is receptive to different things,” says Johandra.
Johandra runs the My World-Life Coaching Studio together with her partner Milinda Coffee who’s also a life coach. My World – Life Coaching Studio offers life coaching to children. They empower children to become the best versions of themselves and how to deal with all kinds of issues. They also have an after school centre where they help children with homework, prepare them for exams and do life coaching with them. Other services include holiday programmes, camps, and workshops for children and school leavers programme.
They are situated at 6 Salk Street, Windhoek West. For further information contact them at 0811670930/0813382480 or [email protected] .