Parenting and Back to School 

On this week’s live at 5 with the financial confidante, Jackie is joined by Louise Gleeson who is a registered psychotherapist, writer, optimist, and savvy parent. They discussed how parents can efficiently prepare the kids to return back to school as well as the dreaded reality for the parents when it comes to shopping. Any parents reading this can feel free to share their experience dealing with the back-to-school pressure this season in the comment section. 


What was your journey to becoming a therapist and how does it tie into your experience being a parent? 


Louise decided to start a career as a therapist because of her love for listening to people’s stories and bringing these stories out of people as she realized our stories inform so much of how we experience our lives and how we view the world. She went back to school 2 years ago and is almost done with the practice. She added that the spark stemmed from her curiosity about being a journalist for many years. As she got older she figured it was time to dive into being a full psychotherapist where she can help people become better informed about themselves.


How can parents manage some of the pressures they are facing around sending the kids back to school? 


A lot of parents are worried because they just don’t know what to expect. The first piece of advice will be for them to normalize talking about the entire process. Acknowledging that they are worried about it would help parents deal with it better. In these times where a lot of things aren’t set in stone, parents need to be ready to adapt and stay optimistic. The need to know that it is ok to be worried and excited, and not knowing what to expect is also fair. Talk about it with the kids and try to be transparent and vulnerable to keep them at ease.


Can you comment on how parents might be feeling managing the financial pressures of the kids returning back to school? 


Parents need to first take an age-appropriate approach when it comes to discussing financial issues in the family with kids so they don’t end up scaring them. Older kids can handle it, but for the younger kids, they can try to make them understand how the family budget works. Explain to kids what a need is and what a wish is and how these will get ticked off the list as time goes on. Also, kids need to understand that back to school doesn’t mean back to new! Louise says, shop in your own house first! Hand-downs to younger siblings are also an interesting way to save and keep the excitement up.  Remember that this is how kids learn financial life lessons on to manage needs vs wants based on set priorities. 


How do you think parents can better prepare their children for a successful school year? 


The key thing for parents is to keep the theme of excitement for the kids. They want to feel excited about going back to school to meet new friends and teachers. Kids really thrive on connection, so as much as it is important to get them excited, it is important to let them understand that it is something they can do and have been doing. Parents can go as far as sharing their experiences with them to sort of put them at ease during this period and manage their nerves. Add some exciting routine activities at home during weekends that they can count on, something that will be consistent, familiar and they can look forward to.  


Louise can be found on all social platforms, @Loiuse Gleeson. She helps parents, families, and children walk through the journey of life in the best way possible. For parents out there who are struggling mentally with parents she would be of great help, just reach out to her.  


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