Who is ready to go back to school? No? Us, neither. I mean, figuratively, we are one newly shoed foot closer, knowing we are a few sleeps away from alarm clocks, “eat your breakfast”, and “do your homework” requests. Soon, we will be knee-deep in paperwork providing the framework for our year, including calendars and information about who to call in case your child is sick, the arbitration process you will undergo if your child is a jerk, and the name and number birthday list in case your child is well-liked.
You have hope that your couch will regain its shape after your son begins taking the bus again. But, in the meantime, is anybody else panicking because your kids are on some serious summer time clocks that cannot be outwit? When they’re not ready, and let’s be honest, neither are you, how do you prepare for a successful year?
I love parenthood, but as the children grow, so does the homework, social demands, athletic obligations, monetary needs, and attention, (and not the kind that’s cuddly and cute, I mean the check-the-phone, look at social medial stuff.) Oh, I know puberty is going to be a rough one for them, with the age of 20 seeming further off than a trip to Mars for our littles, but being the “it” parent, who is cool enough to be around but, you know, also cool enough to not always be around is a tough goal. What kind of parent are you? There are as many parental groups sitting at the proverbial lunch table as there are geeky parents, lurking about and hoping we aren’t totally messing our kids up.
When the wee-ones are small it is easy to distinguish the “good” kids with their nice manners, pleasant social demeanor, and accelerated reading skills, so of course, you were also good, having reared them a mere three years. But when they get older, and the going gets tougher, do you have what it takes to keep your free-willed, blossoming, and sometimes annoying tweener or teener from becoming something meaner? We hope this coming school year finds you and your family of students on a harmonious path to success. But in case you need a few tips to kickstart your back-to-school journey, Live Science has you covered. From their list of “25 Scientific Tips for Raising Healthy (& Happy) Kids,” we have chosen a few that resonate a little deeper with us.
1. Don’t be fooled by their height. Or, I would add, the size of their math books. They are, after all, just kids so let them have their moment in life when things are easy. Growing up comes so fast, why push it? Try to remember they have time to be full-time employees, and school doesn’t need to seem like a tedious job to them. In many schools where recess is only held for minutes, if at all, remember to set aside time for them to just play every day.
2. Support the shy ones. If you have a child who holds back and fears having their voice heard, seek out venues where this will be easier for them. Are they bubbly and outgoing with certain friends? Then pursue activities and new situations where the comfort of a trusted friend might be all that is needed for your child to step outside of their shell.
3. Slow down. Good Lord, this one is important. Don’t have them so over scheduled that they don’t know how to just “be.” The art of relaxation does not come easy to some and is so relevant to a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life. Teach them now how to take care of their emotional needs.
4. Be polite. Can we all collectively raise our hands in support of a more civilized population? I cringe at the lack of pleasantries adults exchange these days, let alone kids. Albeit tough, modeling this needs to be a priority especially during the stressful moments, when losing our cookies over a lousy customer service interaction feels better than the tougher route, of turn the other cheek.
5. Be authoritative. Can you be polite, kind, and authoritative? Absolutely. Know why? They are your kids, you are their parent, so your job is to kind of be their boss. It’s not a popular role, nor one to likely bring you daily praise, but I prefer to think speaking and acting in a way that inspires respect and decent behavior on their part outweighs popularity any day.
Best of luck to all the students heading back to school. We hope your transition from summer to fall is an easy one with plenty of time for laughs with friends, knowledge growth with dedicated teachers, and a year that will leave a happy imprint on your hearts. We cheer on and root for all the teachers, administrators, bus drivers, cooks, janitors, and committed volunteers and wish a wonderful 2017-2018 school year to all.
photos courtesy of The Sarasota Post and Deposit Photos