you're listening to the free to be mindful podcast which provides bite sized tips for busy parents, educators and anyone working with kids. These real talk conversations focus on mindful living, mental health and personal growth, helping all to learn, grow and inspire with mindfulness in mind. I'm your host Vanessa to jesus Guzman, educator licensed professional counselor, entrepreneur and mom. I'm passionate about helping folks live life with peace of mind and ease of heart while not losing their well, you know, here we go. Hi and welcome back to the consultant counselor series. In the series, I answer parenting related questions so that you can be present in arie's with your child and live life mindfully. Today's question is what do I say to my first grader who was left to sit all alone at the school lunch table.
Huh? I'm so sorry, my heart breaks and this is a question that I get all too often, not just specifically for first graders, but sometimes even until eighth grade. So there are a couple of things that you can do with your child and then a couple of things that you should do behind the scenes as well. So with your child, you can sit down together and brainstorm the types of questions that would be appropriate to ask other people and I stress appropriate because their kids so they can do some silly things and in addition to brainstorming questions that they can ask their friends, they can also brainstorm things that they would like to share about themselves, socializing. Not always comes naturally to all of us. So sometimes we have to think about the things that we want to say, think about things that we want to ask and then practice doing so, so after they have a list of things that they can say and ask, then you want to make sure that they practice first with you or a trusted family member or friend, so that they can actually go through and role play a scenario of how kids might act toward them and what questions kids may even ask and how they can carry out a full conversation.
Then you want to encourage them to also practice on their own, especially if they're a little older, this works great if they practice in front of a mirror because they get to really build up the self confidence and that is one of the golden things that I will stress is we want to make sure that we as parents even before the practicing and the brainstorming, that we're always lifting our kids up and even when it has nothing to do with the question today, we always want to make sure that we are boosting our kids self esteem, that yes, we're being real with them but that we are letting them know that they are capable to do whatever they put their minds to because it's from the home, that self confidence is built as a foundation and everything else gets built on top of that, so we want to make sure that that foundation is strong now the next thing maybe a little bit hard to hear, but stay with me sometimes kids or even we as adults have some nuances that can be perceived as annoying and I know the way that land isn't always easy to hear, but we want to make sure that if our kids have some things that may be annoying to others, that we talk about it with them and that we don't just say stop that, but that we asked them why they are doing those things, what are their goals by doing those actions and then let them know how others can perceive that as annoying.
If we don't have those conversations, sometimes our kids don't have enough self awareness to figure that out on their own. And when we find things annoying in other people, we want to make sure that we're able to bring that up nicely and respectfully so that we're not hurting anybody else's feelings, but it's important to brainstorm and play out those scenarios as well, so that friendships don't go sideways after they're already formed. So now for things behind the scenes, please know that as parents and caregivers, you are your child's number one advocate and when they can't do it for themselves, then you can step in and do it for them. So you can always reach out to the teacher and asked the teacher what is the classroom set up at the lunch tables or what are the rules, can they get up and can they sit anywhere? And if there is someone that can make sure, especially at that age, that no one is left out because sometimes social skills take a little bit to build and while you're practicing and building those skills, adults can definitely get into the situation and help out so that they are not left to sit by themselves.
So I hope this helps if you think that another mom, dad or caregiver friend can benefit from this information, be sure to share it with them and be sure to subscribe to my podcast so that you don't miss the next one. And if you have any questions for the consultant counselor series, you can always email me at hello at free to be mindful dot com or dM me on instagram at counselor V to jesus. And remember in a world where you are free to be anything that you want to be, you are always free to be mindful. Thanks so much and catch you next time