Greetings one and all!! I hope you all had a fantastic, relaxing and bountiful summer. Here in Numeric City the work continues to enrich and captivate you with our upcoming tales of adventure, life lessons and fun. Starring the incomparable Zelza Zero and her zany friends.
Indeed summer is waning and fall is approaching and that means many things, to many people. This blog is going to focus on the most important event that the end of summer brings. Nothing is more significant or more at the forefront of our society at this time of year, than the magical, revitalizing and yes somewhat stressful event, that is BACK TO SCHOOL!!
Reaffirmed goals, renewed friendships or first time goals and friendships, it's all there for each family. Whether your child is at the start of the school experience or at the end of it. Short of parental love, guidance and input, nothing shapes our lives more completely than the time we spend in our halls of learning. There are so many avenues to discuss, pertaining to a subject that is so entwined in our culture. This blog would have a page count rival to the great and lengthy novel War and Peace, if we were to attempt to cover it all. So for your sakes, we will explore just some of the examples and their ramifications on the families and children involved.
Let's start at the beginning. Parents you may have tested the waters with kindergarten and pre-school programs. However nothing compares to your child's first real day of school, especially if he or she is in FIRST grade! How nervous are you both? What are you feeling, when you first let go of that little hand, that you have held as consistently as you take a breath? Not only letting go but having to leave your child with strangers and unknown children. As you leave the school grounds without your precious little one or seeing them wave from a bus window, this is the beginning of your child's true emergence as a citizen of the world.
Now as parents you already know, that this is a part of life and will rapidly become the norm. Meanwhile your child has been thrust into about as new an experience as they will ever encounter. Everything is new! Their minds and senses are literally on overload. Teachers telling them what to do. New kids to meet and navigate. Exposure to different foods, opinions, fashion, etc. As much as you may have coached and prepared your youngster for this change, nothing can truly do it justice. This is a vital time to step up in your parenting. Yes, I'm sure there is a natural inclination to start to think about that gym class you have time for now. The extra work you may be able to tackle. That book that's been staring at you from your book shelf. Your favorite TV show episodes waiting on your DVR. That's all great and very healthy. Remember though your child is learning to swim and you are the life preserver they will need to keep them afloat. Just as you would not ignore the fact that your child cannot yet swim, when you place them in a pool or take them to the beach. You cannot just drop them off at school and turn your back. You are just inviting trouble.
After a week or so, are you still as on to what is occurring with your child at school on a daily basis? How about a month later? Six months? Are you just paying attention to grades and counting on the teacher to clue you in on any unusual occurrences? More needs to be done. Is your child making friends? If so (remember the Breaking Bully blog) who are they? If not why? Are they too shy, awkward, like our girl Zelza was? May I suggest, holding a weekly meeting with your child. Ask the important questions. Watch their demeanor for any telling signs of trouble. Grades are an indicator of some trouble or success but do not tell everything. Invite the new friends to your home. Meet the parents. School is not a babysitter. The teachers are not substitute parents. Seek out and discuss your child with their teacher or teachers. The teacher is a partner working with you in prepping your child and should be used as such. Remember your own school days and what you liked and didn't like about the experience. This is your chance to use some of that wise and sagely knowledge that was hard earned in your formative years. Even if it's not readily accepted at first, it will come into play as things progress in your child's life. The events your child goes through at this stage will shape all that is yet to come. Start early and often in your inquiries and do not accept limited answers for your trouble. The more you talk now, the more you will talk later. You are the parent, so set the trend.
Now let's move on to the child that is returning to school. With some tweaking the same regime should apply. Whether your child is returning to a familiar school or has moved on to either middle school or high school and beyond, get involved. Questions, discussion and more questions are what's needed. Still talk to teachers, friend's parents, even the friends themselves. If you get grief from either your child or their friends, so be it. Again you are the parent and must assert yourself accordingly. They'll get over it, probably around the time they want to attend a social event or such. They may think they are being treated like a baby or that you are just a nosey parent. If you have implemented this kind of conversation early on, it should go down easier. If not, oh well. When they have their own children and come to you for advice, you can have a nice chuckle as you remember the past gripes.
All children and people in general have nervous feelings and anxieties about new situations and people. Your first grader just like your high school senior, will be better off with their parents front and center in all that is happening.
Remember our little Zelza and her feelings of thinking she was worthless. She with the help of her teacher AND her parents, learned her true worth and shines for it. That’s why our first story in the book series and the animated series, starts at this juncture and follows from there. This is a very important and paramount time in a child's life. Be there and be involved!
Well back to Numeric City for me. See you there!
Blog Post By: Clark Davis