Archive for the 'Encouragement to Parents: Grief' Category

Spring Grief: Your Sadness

As parents approach the end of school, you may also experience sadness due to expectations that were not met.  Are you asking:

1. Why did my child not progress as much as I thought he would?

2. What should I have done differently?

3. Why did the teacher not push harder?

4. Why did the long hours of homework, therapy, and frustration not “pay off”?

Making a list of your child’s accomplishments for this semester may help you see his progress!  Try to focus on even little things as they do indicate that your child has moved forward.  Though it may appear that struggles outweigh progress, focus on the accomplishments and praise your child.  He needs your praise and encouragement to keep trying! Please seek professional help if you feel “stuck” with your discouraged feelings or if they turn to anger toward your child.

Other helpful blog from Lyn: Encouragement to Parents: Grief


Spring Sadness: Your Child

As summer rapidly approaches, your child may experience joy about the end of school mixed with sadness.  Promotion to the next grade level is exciting but may cause anxiety about the new teacher and new classmates as well as leaving the familiar teacher.  Be aware of these mixed emotions and help your child work through the anxiety.  Anxiety can look like sadness, irritability, acting out in school. Some things to think about doing before school is out:

  1. Visit the new grade level and look at the classrooms, meet the teachers.
  2. Help your child write a story about this year’s good and bad times.  Then add his expectations about next year.  For younger children, have them tell you the story.  Note fears and help your child with these. This could be especially important if your child is moving to a different school.
  3. Add play dates this summer with children who may be in the same grade level.  If they are not in the same class, they will have a friend at recess.

How have you helped your child with this sadness?

Post Semester Blues: Scenerio #3

Many of you have engaged your child in therapy this past semester and faithfully followed through all suggestions feasible with your families lifestyle.  Suddenly you have realized that great progress has been made in one area while another area has appeared that needs work.  How do you prioritize what you can realistically handle with your child time wise, financially, and family wise?  Prioritizing needs will change as your child’s academic needs change.  That is why it is important to have one or more professionals that will help you understand your child’s changing priorities.  This may mean that you need to switch from your favorite professional to a new professional at times which I know can be very difficult emotionally for you and your child.  But we all know that running from one professional to another each day after school can become very tedious and at times impossible.  Sit with someone who can help you look unemotionally at the whole picture of your child, his needs and your time and energy.  Have a good fit for everyone so no one becomes “burned out”! Make sure there is time for FUN!!!!


Your child struggled, he was tested by professionals, but you:

Felt that the results did not  reflect your child as you know him;

Felt totally overwhelmed by the results and do not know what to do next;

Agreed with the results, looked to put in place the recommendations but became bogged down;

Agreed with the results, contacted the recommended professionals; found no one you cared to work with;  stopped.

Agreed with the results, contacted the recommended professionals and have things in place.

Which route did you take? Its never too late to get started again!  Find a support person or group to help you move forward.  It can take alot of energy to put a plan in place but it is very important to do so for the sake of your child.  Praying for you…….

Post First Semester Blues

Often I find that parents who have watched their child struggle during the first semester of school are now  faced with the question of “what do I do next?”  Through the first semester of school, words like “give him time to grow, mature” have been the repeated phrase.  But time has not helped.

If you are one of these parents, you may be experiencing sadness and even anger. Your sadness and anger may be  a form of grief.  Your hope that your child would “outgrow” the problem has been dashed!  You may find yourself asking “how severe is the problem?”, “can it be fixed?”, “will they be successful adults?”, “will the school allow my child to stay?” Fear may step in. Try to use your fears to move forward rather than becoming paralyzed.  Seek support from your school counselor, a trusted friend, journaling, prayer as you begin answering the question of “what to do next?.” Also please remember  that your child is also asking “what’s next?” Please help him ……..

School is Coming !

As  school supplies appear on the store’s shelves and “back to school” ads appear, we may be thinking “oh, no! School is almost here!”

Try to take pressure off yourself and your child by planning now:

  1.  What will your time look like before school: Getting yourself and spouse ready for work? Getting the kids ready for school? Getting the pets ready for the day?
  2. What will your time after school look like: therapy? Sports? Scouts?

Questions to ask:

  1. Will you be overloaded by your child’s busy schedule? We parents can get tired and cranky.
  2. Will your child be overloaded by school plus after school activities? Our children with learning differences work very hard during school.  Choose wisely what they
    can handle after a long day of working. Tiredness can result in a lot of unwanted behaviors!
  3.  If you anticipate being overloaded, is there something that can be eliminated or postponed until next semester?  If not, is there a way to carpool to help you and others in the same predicament? Try to reduce stress for both you and your children.
  4. Did you set aside time for you? For you and your spouse?
  5. Did you set aside time to just play?!

Guilt, Goals, and Summer End


If you do decide to take a break from tutoring/therapy during the summer, its important to do the following:

  1. Ask your therapist/tutor for her opinion.  Consult your doctor if there is a medical condition that requires ongoing therapy. If they agree, then together decide on activities that will help with the goals you all have decided on. Choose fun, realistic ones.
  2. Make a commitment to set aside a specific time during the summer days to continue to work on the above activities. Some children lose what they have learned unless reinforced.
  3. Have a specific date to begin therapy/tutoring again.  If you don’t, it will be easy to not start again.
  4. Make it clear to the therapist/tutor what your plans are for the school year.  Will you pick back up with him/her?  Do you expect to have your old-time slot back? What are their feelings and concerns about “taking a break”?

Communicate, prioritize, and enjoy the summer weeks!

Note: If there is a medical condition that requires continued therapy you must talk with your doctor before discontinuing even for a short time!


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Alphabet Soup: Fun Activities to Stir Your Child's Interest in Letters by Lyn Armstrong O.T.R