Going back to school after a long summer can always be an adjustment for parents and children alike. The time spent together during the summer can strengthen the bond between a parent and child but it can also be hard to find that balance between dependence and connection. Thankfully, Alisa Van Langeveld, PhD had the best tips to make that transition easier for the kids and even parents.

Van Langeveld said we actually go through this our entire lives. It can be easier to manage as an adult. We have two competing needs such as wanting to feel connected to those who are important to us and also wanting to feel independent. Children are born so connected but overtime become not autonomous. School helps children gain that independence as it keeps them away from parents for a fair amount of time. Van Langeveld also said that attachment theory is the best way to explain the bond between parents. The attachment theory has the “circle of security” where parents or the primary care giver is a secure base. The child feels seen, comforted, protected and valued by the care giver where they feel they will thrive and learn. Children inevitably need to leave the nest and even leave in some modified version when they attend school. We also need to find a way to embrace them and make them know they will always be welcomed to come back home. Even adult children feel this when they return to their parents home. The key is to find that balance.

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