Preparing for Our School Year
Another school year is here! During the summer my son gets to relax, wake up and sleep late, eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast. Between home projects, summer trips and activities he indulges playing video games to his heart’s content. As a parent, I am excited when this glorious moment arrives and my teen returns to school with a set schedule. I have learned that if I give my teen consistency, structure and guidelines it helps him to stay focused and know what is expected from him. With his schedule back in order, I feel that balance is restored to our home life.
A week before school starts our family starts preparing. My partner takes my son shopping for clothing and school supplies. I help him arrange his room and his study area. The night before school starts we check his school supplies and schedule twice to make sure we did not miss anything. Yet there are a few items that we could not purchase that he will need. Because I know he will need perseverance, confidence, self-esteem, and courage. If I could purchase these items I would buy them in bulk and make sure to pack them with him every day before he leaves to school.
My teen will need perseverance so he can stay the course, no matter how difficult his school year might get. I also want to provide my teen a box of confidence so he can remember that he can do all things he sets his mind to do and if he fails the confidence to try again. I will also prepare him for the awkwardness of life with a dose of good self- esteem. Because he needs to remember that the clothes, shoes, and cool gadgets do not make him.
As a parent, I fear my teen will be bullied either by name calling or actual physical violence. Yet, we come to realize as parents that we cannot control and foresee the good or bad things that might happen. As parents, we must remind our children that they are not alone and that we are in the sidelines waiting to be called upon. Because life happens, I will not tell my teen IF but WHEN things go wrong. I will be there to help him navigate the maze of life. As parents, we must remember that we can’t protect our children from the unknown and live in fear. But we can prepare them to learn that failure, circumstances and life challenges do not define them. Failure might challenge them to think differently, learn from the experience and move on in a healthy way with our support.
As I speak of my young friends and children, I am also aware that as adults we face the same fears and challenges. We might fear the unknown, the start of a new job, a career, or a new phase in our lives. Just like our children and teens, we must surround ourselves with people who make positive impacts in our lives. I believe that we must we must build a support group with friends or family of choice. For we also need perseverance, confidence, self-esteem, and courage. May we come together to empower our children to make the right choices. But above all, may we encourage each other as we navigate through this year and through life as parents.
May Peace be with us all,
YadiYadi is an Advisor of Spiritual Playdate as well as serves as Youth Minister at New Church – Chiesa Nuova UCC (also on Facebook) in Dallas, Texas. Yadi is also a monthly contributor of the Youth Advocates blog located at Patheos.com