Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Economic Crisis and the Mood Swings of Parenting and School

The Economic Crisis and the Mood Swings of Parenting and School


Due to the typical calendar year of school, and the nature of seasons, parents and children go through cycles of excitement, hope, boredom, and discouragement. However, most of these individuals are not aware that these cycles are normal and predictable. Let me be a bit more specific. At the start of the school year, most parents and children are excited for the year to begin. New clothes are bought, new teachers are met, a new binder is organized, and friends whom you have not seen for the entire summer are seen again. However, after period of time, the reality of the school year sets in. The newness wears off. Some boredom and discouragement sets in. This happens between the middle of October until the holidays. The holidays give a positive boost to many people because there are things to look forward to during the holiday break. In January, most children and parents are excited for school to begin. However, they are probably not as excited before. From the latter part of January until spring break, boredom and discouragement is at its all time high. This is the longest stretch of the year without something exciting. Once the weather becomes nice and spring break hits, positive feelings are again on the rise because summer vacation is near. There is lots of planning regarding what to do for summer activities. Once school is out the excitement is peaked. However, during July some of the boredom again sets in. As the school year approaches, this cycle repeats itself. I am articulating this to you because it is important to put all of yours and your child's emotions in context. You are more affected by these cycles than you may realize. As a psychologist, I have years of data on this cycle. I know when my busy times will be. I can almost predict how people will be. This year will be more intense. The economic crisis and election are added stressors that we have not had for some time. Because of these, you may find yourself having more intense ups and downs than in past years. I encourage you to keep these cycles in mind and realize that we are going into a period of the year where it is common to experience boredom and discouragement. The issues in our country have made these cycles even more apparent. If you are feeling discouraged, please have faith that the cycles will swing to the positive. At this time, you need to be strong and hold on. Pretty soon the cycle will pull you to a more positive state of mind.