Happy School Year!! ( now listen up..)
Summer is coming to a swift end…
All around me, I see signs of young people being dropped off at dorms for their first year in college and the younger children skipping happily through the aisles of stores buying cool clothing and back-to-school supplies in anticipation of starting a new grade.. Somewhere behind all these young people, are the parents who either can hardly contain their own urge to click heels that summer is over, or feeling melancholy that the years have all gone way too quickly- and are now, saying goodbye to young adults going off to chart their own course…Whether you fit in one category or the other, here are some key things to pay attention to as they are crucial for you and your offspring.
Fail-proof things to do in schools (Ages 3-18 )
Look, I know you read all kinds of books, asked all kinds of questions and yes made all kinds of mistakes in an effort to navigate your child’s classroom but here are things that truly work when done with savvy integrity:
- Assume the best of your child’s teacher because believe me, they are just as nervous each year about who will be walking through their doors and await your arrival with much anticipation.
- Smile…yes, smile and let it reach your eyes.
- Ask how you can be of help. If the teacher says “nothing” observe and do little nice things where you may notice a need.
- When the time arises to send an email or note questioning something, start with a positive, ask your question and end with a positive always. There may be a perfectly good explanation about why something is happening so never assume. It is the difference between a good working relationship or a contentious one.
- Choose wisely how you express anger and where. If you are writing an email that would make YOU upset, do not send. Rather, mull it over, cool down and then re-write.
- Educators are not perfect. they are human. Therefore, should the need arise to make a formal complaint, please start with the immediate supervisor, not the school Board or Superintendent. Most things can be solved at your building level.
- Volunteer wherever you can and do NOT stop when your child gets to middle and High School. If you are not able to volunteer in the building, volunteer to send emails or post happenings on a Facebook page etc. You will feel useful and it will be appreciated.
- Our kids are not perfect and will make mistakes. Be open to hearing them when that dreaded call comes
- Set aside time for homework each day but as your child gets older, wean yourself from wanting to do the homework/presentations. There is a valuable lesson in this for you and them.
- Help one other family in need if you can.
- Pray for wisdom, strength and grace. You will need it as the only thing constant in Education, is change.
Semi- Fail-proof advice ( Ages18-22)
- In the beginning of College, you will hear from your child regularly. They may even get home-sick. But once they find their stride, all of that goes out the window. Be thrilled for a call once a week and the texts that has five words maximum. If you are lucky.
- Allow them to find their way such that it is, while keeping a watchful eye out for their safety. We all know parties are a huge thing on campus so advise on the dangers of excess, having someone put an illegal drug within etc. are serious conversations to be had and reminded lightly of, as the years go by.
- Pay attention to changing moods that may seem out of the norm. Whether you believe it or not, you know your child. Using your intuition, may prevent disaster from happening long term.
- Send money when they need it but encourage them to have jobs on campus so they can fully appreciate the value of a dollar and stay out of your pockets like a leech.
- Remind them there is no magical money tree in your back yard so an under-graduate degree should appear in 4-5 years not 10.
- Set boundaries and stick by them when they come home during the holidays. They gain so much freedom at school, they tend to forget that walking through your door at 4a.m. is a deal breaker unless they are paying for the rights to said house. ( Just saying)
I could go on forever but you get the point… parenting is a lifetime job but one that lessens in intensity as our children grow into the people we raised them to be. So as this new school year begins, take a deep breath, hunker down and be the best parent you have within. The Universe thanks you in advance…
Posted on August 22, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged college-readiness, Education, Family, hot topic, Life, love, mental-health, parenting, politics, shopping, society, transportation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.