As we near the end of summer and prepare to send the kiddos back to school, the air is filled with both excitement and a tinge of worry. We worry for our children, “Will they do well? Will they feel accepted, loved? What if they don’t make a friend? What if they forget their letters, numbers? What if… What If?”. It can be daunting as a parent to send our children to school, whether for the first time or tenth. Some conversations I’ve had this week have reminded me that it can be daunting for us as parents, too. Parents who are sending their precious ones to school for the first time are also entering into something new. New schedules, new routines, new empty quiet houses … and maybe the most difficult part … new people. One parent shared with me that she wished it could be as easy for us to make friends as it seems to be for our children. Entering into the years of school, sports, clubs and activities means entering into a whole new social environment for parents, and that can be scary. But it can also be good. For many of us, it forces us out of our comfort zones and into social settings we may not have entered. Often, we meet and get to know people we otherwise would have never known, and much of the time these become our “people”. These are the moms on the sidelines at the soccer field on a Saturday morning who understand the frustration of losing one shin guard at the last minute and barely making it the game on time, the dads at the Parent Meet and Greet who can relate to the struggle to find time to play in the yard with kids amidst the pressures of work. But, if we allow ourselves to step into this new season and embrace all that comes with it, we may find that we’re all in this together. All a little nervous. All a little unsure of what to do, what to expect… and all just wanting the best for our children.
So, whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned pro, I applaud you Mom and Dad! Let this new school year be filled with real and meaningful connections. Share who you are and what you know with the parents around you, after all … the children are watching and you’re their most influential teacher.