5. Classrooms and friends.
Following the rules is difficult for parents. At the kindergarten meet-the-teacher night, she told us parents that one of the best things we could do for our precious babies was to teach them to walk to the classroom by themselves by the second day of school. So, because I wanted the very best for my little, I walked him the first day and then the next I let him out in the drop off lane in front of the school. I watched his little boy body walk warily into the school for weeks! It was awful!
If I could go back in time, this is one thing I would do differently. I would walk him to his classroom door until HE was ready for me to stop. Many years later he randomly asked me why I wouldn’t walk him inside in Kindergarten like the other moms. I was shocked! Come to find out, the mothers that were more seasoned (aka – not their first rodeo) kept walking their baby to the door because they knew the secret! It all goes by so fast, my friend. Of course, by the time he was in older elementary grades he did not even want me to wave at him from the car when I dropped him off! Walk your baby to the classroom door and enjoy their love and lack of embarrassment while you have it!
That brings me to the impulse to pick your child’s teachers. Many of my friends were adamant about having their fingers in the picking of their little’s teachers. The rules of the school state that you can’t choose your child’s teacher but you CAN choose which teachers you do not want. I can share from experience of watching what happened with them and what happened when I did it… don’t. Just don’t. God is much better at picking which teacher your child needs. God know which teacher will be a detriment to your child’s learning. God knows what areas of growth your child needs. Let God. Scripture says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
6. Be THAT house!
The house with all the bikes parked outside. The house where the yard football games happen. The house where slumber parties take place. Being THAT house will help you:
- know where your kiddo is – always.
- put eyes on your kiddo’s friends.
- have a heartbeat on the social activities and paradigms of your kiddo.
- allow you to be a witness and a mentor to your kiddo’s friends.
I loved having the bicycle ramps in front of my house. It was so much fun watching the kids on the slip-n-slide or running through the sprinkler. I still have such amazing memories of listening to the squeals and yells of hide and seek games and the laughter way too long into the night when friends stayed over.
A nugget of mom advise that I would love to share with you here is to keep your feelings and comments about their friends/girlfriends/boyfriends to a bare (almost non-existent) minimum. The adage “You want what you can’t have,” is so true even for adults. The more a person feels like something is forbidden the more enticing that “thing” is. If you see something troubling, steering questions are the most effective way to handle the situation.
I remember meeting one of my son’s friends and almost instantly feeling a terrible vibe. I kept my calm and when the opportunity arose, I made small talk with that friend. During the conversation, I asked a couple of generic questions and then just one or two follow up questions based off this friend’s answers. A few weeks later this person was no longer a friend. I asked what happened and my son just said “yeah, he was kinda mean.” I inwardly cheered at the discernment of my boy, but I outwardly kept my face neutral and told my son that I was glad he was making those decisions on his own. Was this easy for me? No way! Was it rewarding? Absolutely!
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19