Can you smell it? You know…the smell of new crayons, glue sticks, new tennis shoes, and unsharpened pencils. Oh, the days of shopping for school supplies.
With four kids it was quite an undertaking and let’s just say Wal-Mart was glad to see me coming. But I didn’t mind. In fact I had as much fun watching and helping them pick out what they needed and wanted (within reason) as they did. There’s just something about starting something new that gives you energy and hope.
The kids hoped they got certain teachers. Sometimes they did…and sometimes they didn’t.
The kids hoped they were in the same homeroom as their best friends. Sometimes they were…and sometimes they weren’t.
They kids hoped they got the same lunch period as most of their friends. Sometimes they did…and sometimes they didn’t.
The kids hoped their school ID pictures would look halfway decent instead of like a mug shot. Sometimes they did…and sometimes, well, you know the drill.
With each new school year came both excitement and disappointments. But then life is like that, isn’t it? Besides, it’s really not the end of the world if they don't always get the teacher they wanted. They’re still going to learn what they are supposed to learn. And guess what? The world really won't stop turning if your child isn’t in the same homeroom or lunch period as their best friend—I promise. The ID pictures? Sorry, no guarantee on that one, either. Think about it--is there anyone who can take a good picture when you have all of ten seconds to step into place and say ‘cheese’ before the weird guy behind the camera takes one shot and hollers “Next!”?
As parents we know these things aren’t worth stressing over, but our kids don’t—not yet anyway. But that’s where you come in. It’s your job to teach them to take things as they come—to instill in your children a sense of resiliency.
Children who are resilient have better social skills, have a stronger sense of self-confidence, are less likely to be bullied or to be a bully. They also have stronger coping skills when it comes to dealing with things that really are a struggle or disappointment. What’s more, studies show that resilient children turn into resilient adults.
So…as the new school year approaches, don’t feel bad about telling your child they have to choose a $15 dollar back pack instead of a $50 one. And don’t let them whine and moan because they have first lunch period instead of third like ‘everyone’ else does. They’ll get over it…and be better people for it.