Back to School

It looks like summer is coming to an end. As a parent, I can't help but feel a little relieved. For me, summer is about getting off schedule, sleeping in, vacationing, camping, and cookouts. It seems that eight weeks is a short summer holiday, but to tell you the truth, I'm exhausted from it. I can't wait for school to start back. I love my kids, but I feel like summer break is a time that their learning is put on hold, and as a parent, I want my kids to succeed. The eight weeks off is a killer on an academically focused mother.

I tried all kinds of smart ways to get my kids excited about summer learning fun. However, that was a colossal failure. As a life coach who's primary focus is leadership, I understand that leaders get in the trenches and practice what they preach. I may have read two novels this summer, planted an herb garden, and did my best to learn a new way of eating, but what did my kids learn? Maybe there was a half attempt at the summer novels I bought them at the beginning of the beach trip. Perhaps their lessons were learning how to be a family and taking off to do nothing. Maybe just hearing family stories of the good ole days was enough learning for the day. However, I'm an over-achiever, I hate sitting still, worse than that I hate my kids sitting still. I have to have something to focus on and keep my mind moving and creating, or I'll go nuts. I feel like I'm rambling, and maybe I am.

I am just so excited about school starting back up. Granted, I homeschool my kids; therefore, I miss out on a lot of back to school shopping, but I really can relate. As a homeschool mom, I have to gather school supplies for the year and make sure my kids have the right textbooks and binders. So I get it. There's a lot of upfront cost in kids going back to school. But don't you agree that having a set schedule is vital to academic learning.

I guess for me, going back to school gives me a chance to start letting some of my creative energy out. Over the summer it builds up, and I have no way of letting it out, so by this time I'm about to explode. I recently watched a Cate Blanchett movie that just released this week called, "Where'd you go, Bernadette," and in the film, one of the characters states, "Bernadette, you must create, or you'll become a menace to society." I can relate. Going on a mini-date with my husband to our favorite Mexican restaurant, I found myself hating all the people that were sitting around us. They were noisy, and all I wanted to do was hide in a dark corner and eat my poppers in silence. Truth be told I love people, but I believe I was borderline sinking into a dark hole and becoming that menace the movie spoke about. I've been going stir-crazy since week two of summer break. Maybe I am crazy. Going back to school can be scary for some of you.

I get that too. My daughter started duel enrollment this year, which means she's back in the classroom with kids that she doesn't know. I can't help, but worry, will they like her? Will she succeed? Will she be ok? Will she be bullied? Will she meet that mean girl that we all did when we were her age? And worst of all will she be kidnapped by some drug-infested pedophile? Of course, as a Helicopter Parent (that's what they have labeled us Generation X parents) how could I not have all those fears. Psychology says that we are hovering parents. Did you know that? I didn't know what helicopter parent meant, so I looked it up.

Here's what I found on Helicopter Parents -"a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children." Hum...Ok... Yeah, but isn't it called parenting too. I thought, as parents, we were supposed to be involved with our children's lives. Call me old fashion, but in today's world, it only makes sense to know what your kids are watching, who their friends are, and where they are going. Today's world isn't the world we grew up in the '90s. I tell my children all the time; my life would have been different if I'd had all the technology that is available to them. They have access to things that we only dreamed of. Some of that access includes dangerous back doors to drugs, depression, pornography, and predators that will take your kids and sell into sex slavery in a heartbeat. If by me knowing what my kids are doing every second of the day makes me a helicopter parent than so be it. I'll own that title.

I provide a safe place for my children to explore their interests. Learn about failure and foster sharp independence in them both. I don't believe my kids are going to fail in life, because I'm too involved in nurturing their interests, I believe the reverse is true. I think that helicopter parents produce healthy children that will grab this world by the balls and begin to turn it back around.

I worked many of my teen years at an amusement park called Santa's Land. Yes! I was an elf. Anyway, in one of their employee workrooms, they had a large sign that says, "Safety first, Never Last, Have a future, not a past." That has stuck with me all these years and taught me to choose wisely. One wrong turn could be disastrous. Life is so precious, and one wrong decision could cost you your life.

Live life to fullest and be actively participating in your children's lives. Yes, they are doing more than we did at that age, they need a guide through it all. Be there for them. Let them explore safely coming to you for advice by gently guiding them to choose the right paths. I'd rather my kids fail in a safe environment where I can help them look in retrospect to determine how they can do better than to let them drew conclusions that aren't true about their self-worth and confidence.

I hope my ramblings help you also look forward to the school year and get back to some normalcy. Please comment below. I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas about the new school year.

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