End of the school year is coming up. Yay!
Many parents are breathing a sigh of relief. They’ll finally have a break from homework, reports, tests, and projects.
Isn’t it the child who should be breathing a sigh of relief and looking forward to the upcoming break?
Who’s the one who’s in school? The parent or the child?
Excellent question. It really is confusing.
Time to dispel the confusion.
The antidote to confusion is simplicity. Go back to the simple, basic common sense of it all. The child is the student. He’s in school to learn.
Let’s start at the beginning. First grade. Everyone’s worried about transitions and how to make the learning experience more ‘user friendly’. First grade is considered a traumatic transition, but actually the child has been transitioning and learning since birth.
The learning process is natural, inborn. One can even refer to it as a survival instinct.
Just think of all that he or she has accomplished in the past 6 years or so. While progressing from one transition to another, the child develops technical, social, physical and emotional skills that will be significant to his entire life.
No doubt the parent helps, guides and teaches, but essentially the children are on their own. The parent can’t learn to walk, eat or interact socially instead of the child. It’s how the child learns, even if it’s a process of trial and error and even if it means dealing with failure in the process. They grow from it! A toddler will fall many times before he walks and eventually runs, yet it doesn’t occur to any parent to carry the toddler in his arms to prevent a fall or bruised knee. The parent has an innate understanding that it’s how the child develops a sense of balance as well as muscle tone.
Yet somewhere along the line, the child begins ‘formal’ education (till now it’s been informal education) and parents are now on guard, on the run…and tired…oh so tired…
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Somewhere deep-down you can believe that-
- You could and should rely on your child to deal with challenges and responsibilities.
- Relaying those responsibilities isn’t being neglectful, rather helps him grow to become a mature responsible adult.
- We can rely on our children to deal with the consequences of their behavior and challenges…it’s part of the learning experience.
Yes, we help our kids. That’s what parents do instinctively. But if it’s become our responsibility and not theirs, then it’s time to step back.
Letting go isn’t always easy, but everyone stands to benefit. The child will grow from it, and the parent…Well, as a parent, you know what to do with the saved time and energy…😁
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