Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Starting School with Serenity!

Back to Class!

The books are bought and the bags are loaded.  Labor day looms, while corn tassels still bloom and yet school has already begun.  I wonder who is ready?  The school doesn't seem quite ready. I spoke with a counselor the other day and 400 some new students were still trying to get a schedule.  The counselor I spoke with seemed a bit frazzled.   Well, I'm sure other parents are frazzled as well.

There is plenty of reason to worry about lots of things.  How will your child do this year?  Will he or she get the right teachers, the right classes or the right medication?  Will they find the way to the right classrooms and will they get along with their peers?  Parents can make themselves crazy thinking of all the things that will go wrong.  It is important to remember that old maxim, "you can only control what you do!"  So do what you can, review the rules with your kids, make sure they get to bed on time, check on homework each night and if anything comes up try and talk with your child and the teacher without getting into blaming and shaming.

The school will be sending things home for you to sign.  Try not to take the things they send home personally.  Some of them will appear to treat parents like they are idiots. You probably already know that your kids are responsible for their own homework but the school will remind you of that.  You probably know that they are responsible to get their homework in on time but they will tell you that anyway.  They have to do this to make sure that later if there is a question they can say, "we informed you of this at the beginning of the year."

There is a lesson here.  Start off the year with a clarity of expectations.  Remind your kids of the things they already know.  Don't take anything for granted. Later when your child turns in homework late you can take the phone away and not be arguing with them about whether they knew the rules or not.  It is always better to start of strict and ease up on the rules and expectations than it is to try to tighten them up later.

Control what is yours to control and seek serenity in accepting the things you cannot control.

Have a great school year!

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