I have three grandchildren off to school this year. I checked in with my daughters to see how things went and was relieved to hear that the kindergarteners and first-grader headed out happy and excited, and came home the same way. The first-grader shared that his teacher said their classroom is like a family – where they all care for one another. What a beautiful tone to set for learners.
As a retired teacher, I know what kids need to be successful, and it’s so much more than academics.
So send your child off to school with courage. Send them with joy and send them with positives. And when they come home feeling discouraged or rejected, build them up. Teach them that no one can bully them or make them feel less than……unless they allow it. Teach them to speak up, and speak out – for they are worth it. Teach them that their voice is just as important as anyone else’s voice. Teach them that to gain respect, they must be respectful. Teach them that sometimes things are difficult, but that’s OK. Set a goal, work hard and never give up. Teach them that there are always people to turn to when things get tough – find those people.
Communicate with your child’s teachers if you have concerns. Respect their time but know that good teachers want to know if your child is struggling, and they will work with you to help your child.
Your child needs to know that you will always be there – to listen, share, and support. So as you send your little ones out to navigate without you, know that you are still their most important teacher and they still need you to fill them up with all that is needed to be independent, self-reliant and confident to navigate their world without you.