6. "What made you feel happy (or sad) today?"
When children return from their first day of school, they can experience mixed feelings. They might have made friends, learned something new or felt a feeling they never felt before. Some phrases mamas can say in these instances are affirmations of support, others are questions to help children reconnect with home and express how they felt throughout the day.
Here are nine encouraging phrases to say to your child after their first day of school:
1. "What are you most proud of today?
This will give your child the opportunity to develop retrospection, which is a life skill that will be used throughout adulthood. Life will not always be perfect but when it gets tough, it helps to concentrate on your accomplishments.
2. "Tell me about your day."
This phrase helps your child recognize that you are someone with whom they can share the successes and struggles. It will also give you a head start when it comes to building that trust between you and your child now that they will be in school most of the day, away from you.
3. "I am proud of you."
The first day of school can be overwhelming and saying this simple sentence to your child can make a big difference in how they feel about themselves. Children tend to doubt themselves, and after their first day of school, they want to know their parents are proud. This phrase encourages them to keep up their good attitude.
4. "Congrats! You faced the challenge of the day head-on, and succeeded!"
Aside from letting your child know you are proud, it is important to put their accomplishments into perspective. It is not an entirely easy thing to go to school on the first day, and yet they faced the challenge head-on. That is a success and not only should you be proud of them but they should be proud of themselves.
5. "Did you learn something new? Tell me about it."
Asking this question will let your child know that you are open and present to hearing about what they learn. If your child read a new story, learned a new concept or took part in a new assignment, ask them how they felt, how they think they did, and give them advice based on your experiences.
6. "Thank you for trying your best."
Always acknowledge your child's feelings and challenges. Thanking them for getting ready in a timely fashion, going to school and trying their hardest help them signal that these actions are positive and have an impact in their world.
7. "What made you feel happy (or sad) today?"
Letting your child talk about things that made their day is helpful for them to relive the positive moments and attribute it to school. This is also helpful as parents to understand the kinds of things your son or daughter enjoys about school.
There might also be some downs. At an early age, you want your child to feel comfortable saying all the great things that made mom and dad proud, but you also want your child to feel safe talking about the bad things. They should also learn to acknowledge that they won't have a good day every day and that its part of life.
8. "What's your goal for tomorrow?"
Children need parents to help them find their passion, and goal setting could be a great way for them to express what they want to be better at. Whether your child had a good day or a bad day, asking them what their goal is for the next day will help them tackle their challenges.
9. "If you ever need me, I am here for you."
Finally, always remember to let them know they have a parent who is there for them with unconditional love. It is good for children to know they can run to you when the going gets tough. While children gain confidence and toughness throughout their life, you want them to feel like they can trust that you will be there to guide them when the going gets tough.