Pat yourself on the back. Treat yourself to a fancy cup of coffee. You did it!
You made it past the first few weeks of school, and that’s not an easy feat. For all the years we’ve been working with kids and families, we’ve consistently seen how difficult that transition can be for so many kids and parents. A new teacher, new friends, new routine, new expectations.
We talk often with parents about the amount of mental, emotional and social energy kids expend throughout the school week trying to keep up with assignments, please their teachers, stay organized, maintain friends, read non-verbal skills, contain anxiety, score well on tests, negotiate the social maze, stay organized, do homework - only to rinse and repeat the next day. There is a lot of truth to the statement “kindergarten is the new first grade.” Everything is accelerated. Most middle schoolers are taking classes many of us took in high school. High schoolers are taking college level courses. Kids practice sports like they are training for the Olympics, and parents are racing to extracurricular activities like college-entrance depends on it. There’s so much pressure. We feel it. Educators feel it. And the kids we love feel it.
It’s one of the reasons we felt so strongly about writing Are My Kids on Track? As families are navigating and negotiating this pressure, we hope to be cheerleaders on the sidelines encouraging you. We hope to be coaches offering helpful guidance, partnering with you as you champion the kids in your life. We hope to help kids and adolescents keep moving toward these ever-important emotional, social and spiritual milestones.
This fall, as we continue settling into a new school year, we’ll offer up some ideas to keep the kids and adolescents we care about on track. Easy, practical, user-friendly ideas to keep our kids progressing toward the milestones that prepare them to be grown ups. We talk throughout the book about how practice makes progress (not perfect). At times, we’ll splinter off and discuss some unique ways we can help the girls we love and then focus in on boys. We’ll kick off next week with a look at how to help girls develop Resourcefulness.