Thursday, May 23, 2013

The ABC's of Elementary School

Just yesterday my daughter entered kindergarten. I blinked a few times and now she's wrapping up sixth grade.

This means next Fall she'll go to a new school, meet new friends, and be in middle school. I keep telling myself this is awesome.

Seven years at one school is a long time. I have nooooooooo idea how it passed by so quickly. Seriously. How did it go by so quickly?

As a mom who has now officially experienced the K - 6th grade years, I've learned a few things. Let's call them the ABC's of elementary school.

A - Always bring tissues with you to the 6th grade graduation. Once upon a time you mocked parents who cried at meaningless events like 6th grade graduation. Now that your precious 6th grader is graduating, your ugly cry will require an obscene amount of tissues. What's wrong with me you?  Know that if your tween even sees a single tear in your eye, she'll disown you on the spot.  No questions asked. For this reason, once you can speak without choking out tears say to no one in particular, "Darn allergies!"

B - Be open-minded. Yes, your child is nearly perfect and you are the only person on the planet who is allowed to find fault with your angel. However, it just so happens that the teacher who is helping your precious child will see him in situations you're not privy to like recess, math class, and the lunch line.  It goes to reason that the trained professional may have helpful insights about your child. Sometimes that includes the good, the bad, the ugly.  If our children truly were perfect then we wouldn't need to parent them, right? It's sort of like job security for us parents. Be open-minded to the teachers' observations. They work with these little hellions children every day. They may actually know more about our child than we think.

C - Calm the heckaroo down!  This parenting gig is a marathon event not a sprint. If Susie Q doesn't win student government in 3rd grade, she'll cry, you'll cry, but her life isn't ruined. If Johnny gets a lousy grade in 5th grade science, this doesn't mean he's not college material.  Not every battle is worth fighting. Sometimes it's healthy for children to learn that life isn't fair. Breathing deeply and staying calm in the face of adversity is sometimes the best lesson we can teach our children.

To all the teachers who helped shape my daughter's elementary school years into a positive experience,  THANK YOU.

To those teachers she has yet to encounter,  I hope you're as awesome as the ones she's had so far.  I'll try to remain open-minded and calm, but that's hard work! I'd give myself a C+

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