For some, it has already started, for others, it is coming, either way, we are all in Back To School mode.
Every year, in our home, our “typical” kids have the dreaded stress over whose going to be in class with them, how hard the teacher will be and of course “what will I wear”. Yes,for our kids, these are real issues, but I thought we should spend some time helping to remind them of some of the stuff that really matters. Much of which our son with Autism continues to teach us.
Our children will get through the classes with no BFF’s, as well as the lunch room anxiety of who to sit with. Some of the things we need to remind them of and help them to focus on and the lessons that will carry on long after they finish this year of school are here:
1. It is OK to have both GOOD & BAD Days.
Just like we do, kids can have both good and bad days. The good will be easily spoken of, the bad, well, that’s part of it all as well. We can “allow” our kids to have a bad day, let them know it is ok and they will always have a safe place to come home to and talk about it with us.
2. Be TRUE to yourself.
Be true. With all the pressure to be a part of and to not be excluded; our kids need to know that in the end, they must be ok with who they are. They can say no and stand tall with pride for all they believe in.
3. Take A Chance, Dare to Be Different and Stand out for a GOOD reason.
Join the club that no one else wants to, sit with the student alone at the table and ask your teacher for help when you need it! You know what will most likely happen? Others will follow. And, If they don’t,that is ok. You will be a much happier and more fulfilled person.
4. Don’t worry about “fitting in”.
Although this is a little like #2, our kids need to know that who they are on the inside is more than what they are showing on the outside. The jeans they wear, the shoes they don’t have and the group they wish they were a part of do NOT matter. Our kids are so much more than the newest fad and when the fad passes, their values and their beliefs will not!
5. Quality over Quantity Matters.
This is true of most in life. You do not need the most of anything to be fulfilled. Having the most friends, most clothes, or most of whatever it is, DOES not make you the best. Focus on who you spend your time with, who makes you feel good about who you are and who brings out the best in you!
6. It is OK if you do not love all of your teachers.
This is one recurring theme in our home. Every year, there is a teacher that is “too hard” or “too mean” and we remind our kids that in the end, what matters is that you learn and get the work done with the tools you need.
As we get older, we know we will have coworkers and bosses that also may not be our favorites and learning to adjust is part of the process. Being able to learn to ask questions and use their voice in a class that they are not as comfortable with their teacher is a great skill to acquire.
7. What Matters Today May Not Matter Next Week – Keep Perspective.
This too shall pass! Yes,in the moment, their “crisis” is real and we will help guide and support through it all. BUT we will also continue teaching by example as well as with our words For our entire lives, regardless of our age we ALL will live this. It is all going to pass, we will get through it and it won’t matter the way it does today.
Let’s make this a year of great learning, not only “in the books” but in our life lessons too!
Here’s to a year of true successes!