The sales flyers and emails are arriving, clothing and office supply stores display promotional prices on school year basics, bookstores have teachers’ reading lists.
Clearly this is August. It is a month devoted to school related shopping the way November is a month related to December holidays.
Enthusiastically we shop with pure optimism, as though sweeping up school supplies will magically make our child’s next ten months flawlessly enriched by academic learning, expanding their friendship network, absorbing new skills in after school organizations and sports.
Sooner or later reality hits and our child hates a certain academic subject, thinks the teacher is unnecessarily demanding, sits next to a student whom s/he considers annoying, and drags themselves with little motivation to the very costly music, dance, or specialized sports lessons you both imagined your child would love.
The specific inevitability of what area of your child’s school year activities or situations cannot be anticipated.
What can be anticipated is the high likelihood that a full academic year will not run as ideally as the energizing sales materials would like us to imagine so we will skip down store aisles happily filling our shopping baskets.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Save some of your energy for the tough and sometimes heartbreak moments when you’ll need to reassure your child, motivate your child, and monitor their diligence when any of these flag.
Your child may need your support and guidance more in March when the possibility of complicated relationships with peers, teachers, and the academic work are at their peak, than in September’s clean slate of happy times ahead.
Be ready to accept too that the behind the scenes effort for both student and parent to maintain consistent academic progress, keep peer friendships civil, and manage classroom teachers who seem intolerable, is much less fun and much more work than a shopping trip among new items which glow in innocence and optimism of ideal success in school.
Conserve your energy and stay flexible so you will be prepared for the variety of encounters during an academic year.
Happy School Year Ahead to you and your child, all ten months of it!