My son is a pretty smart kid. He’s so smart that he’s up one grade level in math, but this school year has evoked many changes for him. Not only did the school district swap around the schools, but instead of going to one new school, my son goes to two schools.
Or he did until last week when this mom stepped in and put a stop to it.
As a parent, we all want what is best for our children. That’s the hope, right?
Over this past school year, I’ve noticed an attitude change within my son. The boy who loves school and cries when he doesn’t have homework –wasn’t turning in this homework. Every morning he dragged his feet to the front door, “Do I have to go, Mom?”
These are not the words any parent should have to hear from a child in elementary school.
A teenager, yes. An elementary kid, no.
If there has been one thing I’ve learned this school year is that communication is key.
In the fall of the year, parent teacher conferences left me weary of this double school day for my son. As I heard from one teacher, I never heard for the second one at the second school. No note, nothing. No communication teacher to teacher. So, I thought to myself this is new, there’s things that need worked out, it’ll be okay.
Meanwhile, my son had to ride a bus with children in upper grades. Before that bus passed two streets from the bus stops there were kids fighting. My son didn’t want to ride the bus. I didn’t blame him. For many months, I’ve drove my son to school in the morning. “Have a good day, I’ll see you later.”
I’d watch as he entered the school then headed to the next school to drop off another child before the morning bell rang.
Each night our family makes it a point to have supper together. My husband will go around the table and ask our children to tell them one thing about their day – the best thing. Most of the time for me, its sitting down as a family for those thirty or so minutes that we have together in one room to share a meal. I love to hear my kids voices pitch with excitement when it’s their turn to share. Except for our son, who asks a trivia question or says his hour of Wii time was the best part of his day.
Now that it is spring, I thought for sure I’d hear from teacher #2. Not a word. That is until the teacher was informed that I withdrew my son from her classroom and from traveling between schools for the remainder of the school year. Who would have known that taking my son out of this school and class would prompt the first outreach of communication?
My son now does his advanced class per independent study in his primary school. I’ve noticed a difference in just the first day this change has taken place.
As a parent, I know my son better than most anyone. That’s why building a relationship with him is essential in this beginning stage of his life, he knows I’m listening and I care. He knows he can trust me and come to me when he’s unhappy or troubled.
Staying involved and keeping constant communication open with my children will help ease those challenging teenage years.
Here’s a few ideas on how we can all stay involved with our children’s lives:
- Spend a few minutes every day asking you child what the best thing about their day is/was.
- Attend parent/teacher meetings at your child’s school or activities your child is participating in
- Allow your child to complain to you, just like you would a best friend, and listen –just listen.
- Tell your child they are important to you. “I’ll miss you,” “See you soon,” “I love you,” “Have a good day” when you send them off to school.
There are countless other ways, I’m sure, for parents to communicate and get involved with their children’s lives, but this is what I know works best for my family. Can you think of something you’d like to share that works best for you and your child?