Back to School Blues

I think I’m worse than the kids when it comes to going back to school. Though I will be extremely happy not to hear, “Can I…Will you…Please…Can I” every 5minutes, I am also pretty anxiety ridden and afraid I’ll hear a bunch of “Mrs. B, your son…Mrs. B, we had an incident today”. Middle school has been pretty horrendous for us so far, so I’m praying that this year goes a lot smoother than last year. If not, I’m in danger of losing my mind.

I’m sure that every parent would love to think that their child is a perfect angel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but my mother taught me to be realistic…I am not in denial and thinking that my child is the most innocent creature on earth. After all, not every child can be as perfect as I was when I was growing up ;-)
But is it so much to ask that they not get in trouble so much that all the guidance counselors at their school know your name, rank, and serial number. I have become a local celebrity at my son’s school. I can hear the teachers now, “Hey, there’s that lady…You know, the one who writes that column for the magazine about relationships and parenting…Yeah, the one whose son gets written up every week”. For the love of God, can we just get through more than a week without any phone calls or emails? And at some point I would love to show up at the school NOT wearing large dark sunglasses and a baseball cap. I would also love to be able to park up front instead of down the street behind the building because I’m embarrassed to seen more than once a week. I’ve even thought about applying for a teaching position at my son’s school. Not that I think it will completely alleviate any problems that may occur, but just so I don’t have to come up with an explanation for why I’m at his school every day.

Don’t get me wrong, my son is not a complete demon. He has his good days too. I look forward to the days when the teachers call to let me know that he was especially nice to the new kid today, or that he got extra credit for turning in assignments that aren’t mandatory. And the greatest feeling in the world was the time his teacher called to tell me that he had gotten an A in his toughest subject-Math. Funny thing is that he has this sort of charm that convinces his teachers not to stay mad at him. In fact, there have been a few instances where they have tried to cover for him when he’s in trouble. Of course I saw right through them ‘cuz I know my son, but I thought it was cute that they even put forth the effort to try and save him. It really shows that they care. Its funny people say that some of the smartest kids constantly get in trouble in school out of boredom and lack of a challenge. I have seen weeks where he has gotten in trouble every day but still made honor roll. So what I’ve figured out is that he needs a challenge. He needs to constantly stretch his brain muscles. So little by little, I give him a few more challenging activities like reading, story writing, and at home science experiments. He gets so engrossed in the process of creating something that he is eager to focus on his schoolwork and get it done early so he sit and think of what his next project will be. At first it killed him because it cut into his television time, but as time went on he enjoyed it a lot more and felt proud of himself for his new accomplishments.

It’s hard to create a healthy balance between learning and fun. While I want my kids to be as happy as possible and have fun throughout their life, I also want to make sure that I’m doing my part to prepare them for the world to come. A kid that values learning will grow up to be an adult who values learning, then passes it on to their own children. No kid ever died from their parents making them read or from getting a couple of extra credit assignments done. And no parent ever died from putting forth a little more effort and making sure that their kids stay challenged and stay on top of the current learning environment. In fact I think it has created a stronger bond between us. So in the spirit of learning, I embark upon a new year and welcome the challenges ahead. Who knows what life will bring for us, but 8th grade here we come!

Here's a clip of one of the greatest back to school commercial ever!

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