There are different rituals for different families at this season of the year. When I was little, I got a new pair of shoes and a new “outfit”. My brothers got new “clothes” because, as they explained to me with a sneer, boys don’t wear “outfits” after the age of two.
Mom took her six kids to K-Mart and we each picked out a notebook and pencils and crayons and a ruler and a pencil box to keep it all in. That was pretty much it.
We were pretty much ready to go back to school. Twenty years later, it was pretty much the same when I got my sons ready to go back to school. But now, twenty years past that, I wonder if “pretty much ready” is enough.
Is there something else a parent can do to prepare the kids for a successful year?
Ok. That’s a rhetorical question or this is a very short blog.
We need to prepare our kids mentally along with adequate footwear. That means letting them know you’re a full-service parent, even when the roll their eyes at the suggestion that they might someday figure out a practical need for us beyond our skills as a human ATM.
Research now verifies that children cannot actually read our minds. Yes. I was shocked to learn that they don’t just automatically know that we’re here to help them. We have to say it in words.
We have to say: School can be an amazing place with friends and fun things to learn. But sometimes, there’s a bully. Sometimes there’s a friend who wants you do to something dangerous. If something happens that worries you or confuses you – no matter how embarrassing – I want you to talk to me.
We have to say: Nothing gets better if you keep it inside. I want you to talk to me.
We have to say: No matter what you tell me, I won’t get angry at you. I want you to be brave, and I want you to talk to me.
We have to say: I love you, no matter what. I want you to talk to me.
Find 42 ways to say: You are smart. You are brave. You are a good person. And even smart, brave, good people can be tempted and confused and frightened.
Prepare you child for a wonderful year of fun and friends and memories that will last a lifetime. And make one of those memories your voice saying in 42 ways: I love you. I will be here when you need me.
(Find more back to school tips here)