My oldest is now in first grade … so we have been working on creating some fun, family back-to-school ideas.
Going back to school can be an exciting time for kids, and yet, at times it can be nerve wracking.
My son had his moments of stress last year with kindergarten. He had days where he just broke down and didn’t want to leave me, and cried about going to school.
That always hurts a mamas heart.. and we had lots of talks about why school is fun and important.
As time went on, the tears were fewer and far between for my son.
I want all my kids to always know that school is a fun and exciting place. School isn’t just “hard work,” but it’s a place to meet new friends, learn new things, and enjoy life.
So here is a list of things we do at our house to get the kids excited for school!
1- Back to school shopping! Even if the kids don’t need much, we always get them a new outfit, and if their backpack is getting old and worn a new backpack. For first grade they will need a lunch bag too. Back to school shopping is a fun and exciting time to get the kids excited for a new school year!
2-Back to school dinner the night before school starts. Basically- we make a tasty meal that the kids love, include a yummy dessert and decorate the table a bit with fun back-to-school decor such as apples and maybe some whiteboard markers etc. The dinner doesn’t have to be extravagant .. just simple and fun to remind the kids that you care and that you too are excited for them to start back to school.
3- Back to school blessings. We are members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When I was growing up, my dad would always give us kids priesthood blessings the night before school started. These blessings were comforting and reassuring as a new school year was about to start. We do this with our kids now too, I notice my children feel so special when they get individual blessings from their father.
4- Back to School Door decorating. Many of these items can be found at the dollar store, it doesn’t have to be pricey. Mainly, decorate your kids door at night so they wake up to a door covered in pencils, treats, erasers, and such .. with a sign encouraging them to enjoy their new year of school.
5- Write a note on the mirror. This is simple but always fun for kids. Get a whiteboard marker and write a quick note to your kids on their bathroom mirror, motivating them to be excited for the new school year! This is a simple and easy way to remind your kids that you care.
6- Walk your kids to class the first day. Yes, this may apply to younger elementary kids more, but a new class and teacher can be intimidating… sometimes simply walking your child to their classroom door is the encouragement they need to be ready and excited for the new school year.
What other traditions would you suggest? I’d love to hear!
And hope the school year is great for everyone this year !
I had a moment this morning with my little girl, that made me reflect on parenting.
Rewind a bit.
I am reading Brene Browns book “Daring Greatly” and I love it and highly recommend it.
If you haven’t read this book, it goes into detail about “Shame” and how detrimental “shame” is for many people.
Keeping that in mind…..
I was reading about SHAME last night and I was pondering many moments of parenting in which I was worried I had “shamed” my kids in detrimental ways.
One specific concern is with my 4 year old daughter who HATES to go to the bathroom.
Yes, she has been potty trained for over a year, but she is not a fan of going to the bathroom.
I usually have to bribe her, or walk her into the bathroom, she just doesn’t do it very willingly or independently, and it has definitely tested my patience.
Well, this morning I had asked her my normal half a dozen times to go to the bathroom.
She hadn’t gone yet, and when it hit emergency mode she needed my help because she was wearing a long nightgown that she needed me to hold.
This cute little 4 year old was right in front of the toilet but she didn’t make it.
I sat there holding her nightgown up as she went to the bathroom all over my master bathroom floor…(palm to face).
Without thinking, I started to scream for a minute and as soon as I did my cute little 4 year old started saying “sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry!!”
I immediately gathered my emotions together.
I stopped yelling and freaking out.
On the inside I was very frustrated but I knew that I had TWO choices.
As a parent I could “shame” her and make her feel terrible and guilty even though she already knew she had made a mistake.
I could be patient, make this little incident a teaching moment, and move on…because the reality is, she’s only 4 years old and bless her heart she’s trying.
Was is easy to stop myself from getting boiling mad and upset?!
No. You’re talking to the germaphobe here so cleaning up toilet issues is not my thing.
However, I love my sweet girl.
She is learning everyday, and guess what, so am I.
As a mother, I make my mistakes too and I can’t expect my young, sweet 4 year old to do everything perfectly.
It’s hard to not REACT, somehow that’s what I usually turn to.
However, I am learning if we choose LOVE over all the other options, things will be better.
Yes I have probably scarred my kids in some ways already.
No parent is perfect.
Parenting is truly a moment-to-moment basis…where if we can just react with love through all the moments, our kids will know that we love them, despite some of the mistakes they make along the way.
I truly believe I was meant to read about “Shame” last night so that I could handle this mornings situation better than normal.
Will I make mistakes as I continue on the parenting journey?
Sure, it’s natural.
And yet, as long as our focus is love, and if we are truly trying to “not-scar” our children, things will work out.
We can’t “Re-do” all our parenting moments.
And yet, we can sure a lot from each moment with our kids. And we can try to do better with each situation that comes.
Moral of the story?
Treat your kids with love and respect despite their weaknesses. Discipline them when necessary, but as long as our kids know that we love them know matter what, our kids will feel safe, happy and will grow.
Parenting is a beautiful, hard, amazing and difficult job all wrapped in one, and oh how blessed we are to have our beautiful children in our lives.
Let’s be honest, there is A LOT that I don’t know about parenting.
Even when three young kids, somedays I roam the parenting life oblivious to what I should be doing.
However, I always remind myself that the things I DO KNOW about parenting, help me get through all that I don’t know.
So let’s start with what I don’t know about parenting.
What I don’t know about parenting is how to get all of my kids to sleep through the night, in their beds, period. We have tried the books and the help and we still end up with one…sometimes two kids in our bed.
Our kids are young…5 years, 3 years, and 1 year old.
We had a big earthquake here back in March and I can honestly say my three year old daughter has never slept the same since then.
So I admit, I don’t know how to get my kids to sleep well through the night.
I also don’t know how to deal with the different emotions and personalities that each child has.
All three of my kids are very different from each other, and they respond to discipline, love, and all things differently.
It’s a learning curve, maybe one day I will figure it out, but not right now.
What I don’t know about parenting is how to get my kids to eat every meal without a fight, or without having to fix a separate side meal for some of my kids.
I have picky eaters, and I don’t know how to make them like certain foods.
Is it possible to make kids like certain foods?
I don’t know that.
What I don’t know about parenting is how to make sure I am meeting all of my children’s emotional needs.
There is no sign or signal that let’s us know if we are helping our children emotionally to the capacity that they each need. Is it possible to know that?
What I don’t know about parenting is how to be a kind, patient mom when trying to get kids packed into the van to get to school on time.
I am sure some parents have this figured out, but I don’t. I can bribe kids…that way I am not raising my voice as much, but I’m not sure that quite counts?
What I don’t know about parenting is …a continual thing.
What I DO KNOW about parenting is that the love a parent has for a child is indescribable.
And if we as parents can transfer that LOVE into every interaction we have with our kids….
Then we have EVERY part of parenting figured out.
We won’t have all the answers … raising children takes me to my knees a lot, asking Heavenly Father what I can do to be a better parent.
And what I feel from Heavenly Father is LOVE— and that is always the answer.
Love your kids through everything.
Love them through the tantrums and the heartache.
Love your kids through successes and honors…
If we love our kids through every decision and every move they make … they will FEEL that love in their hearts.
I felt it from mine.
That love will carry your children through all the pain and all the happiness.
So when it’s hard to know just how to discipline or work through a disagreement with your child.. stop and think of how your actions show love?
Love will change the world, one child at a time.
It starts with how we parent. When we parent with LOVE as the goal everyday… our children will benefit through indescribable ways.
That’s the only thing I know about parenting …that loving our kids through thick and thin is the key.
And guess what?
As long as that’s all we know… To love our children unconditionally … it all works out in the end.