Encouragement for Parents: When Starting the School Year is a Challenge
My son started kindergarten this fall and I wish I could say that it was a pleasant lovely beginning filled with boxes of crayons, glitter glue, scissors, and books. Instead, it was hard. In response to this challenging time, I want to offer a note of encouragement to others who may have found that back to school was filled with meetings with administrators, teachers and/or nurses.
- You are not alone. In every district, in every school, families have to negotiate safe and quality educational experiences for their children. Yours is not the only family struggling. Even when education savvy parents engage the system, it can be a challenging experience.
- You have everything you need. Each of us has deep and profound love for our children. We are sure of what they need. Armed with our love and our assurance, when we remain calm, we can communicate with districts and schools about our children’s needs. Insist on what your child needs. You may not get you want, but your child will get what he or she needs, if you stay clear about that in all of your communications.
- God knows and cares about your experience. God cares about the birds and the flowers. God cares about all of creation and he most assuredly cares about you and your child. It may not be possible to avoid worry, but it is possible to pray and fast and to fill the few quiet moments you have with the comforting words of God.
Our difficult time has passed for now. Our kindergartener is complaining about normal things. For example, he really doesn’t like sitting criss cross applesauce on a rug. While I wish I could solve his problem, I was so happy that his problem was one that would not threaten his life, one for which there is likely a simple solution. As you work through the challenges your family is experiencing, I hope that you will be encouraged by this short, encouraging list: you are not alone, you have what you need, and God is with you.