The back to school season is now in full swing.
We are hustling to the store to get those few last minute items, going through drawers to make sure we have all the needed clothing, and piling into the grocery stores in order to make the best school lunches in the district.
Our minds are scattered, our patience runs thin (which really isn't any different than what we've been feeling all summer), and we can't seem to keep a bottle of wine in the fridge...oh? Is that just me?
We are awesome parents! Our children are all sorts of prepared!
But are they?
During all the hustle and bustle of the season, one area we as parents tend to drop the ball is with talking to our kids about the upcoming school year. Going back to school is a big step in the life of a child no matter what age they are.
And there are certain things that, as parents, we need to make sure we talk to our children about.
1. Bullies As a mother there are few things that terrify me more than knowing someone is out there wanting to hurt my child emotionally and/or physically. Even if that person is a fellow elementary school child. So it's important to me (and I'm sure to most parents) that my son know what to do should he be the victim of a bully. A. Loudly tell the bully to stop and leave him alone B. Find an adult and tell them; whether it's me, a teacher, or another trusted adult in his life.
On the same token, I feel the need to reiterate to my child that if he chooses to bully it will not be tolerated. I don't like bullies and I refuse to allow my child to be one. He knows this and will hopefully adhere to it.
2. Peer Pressure I know kids hear these things all the time at school and other programs they are involved in. But in my opinion, they can't hear it enough: They don't have to do what all their friends are doing and anyone who is pressuring them to, isn't truly a friend. A friend would respect that you don't want to do something.
Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest ones for kids to deal with. So one thing I always did (and was encouraged to do) was to blame my parents. Even if they had nothing to do with a decision; if I felt uncomfortable with what my friends were going to do I would blame my Mom as to why I couldn't go.
Because, you know, parents are so lame.
3. Good Touch/ Bad touch & Sex Unfortunately, we now live in a world where these things are everywhere. And as much as we try to hide our children from them, they will eventually be faced with the topics. And I, personally, would rather my child know they can come talk to me about these topics than to fear my reaction.
Though, of course. I do believe these things need to be spoken about in an age appropriate manner.
For young children: Good touch, bad touch. No one touches you without your permission and what to do if they try. (Tip, Scream). Older kids: What sex is, why its not ok for them and continue the good touch, bad touch. Preteens: Time to have the sex talk. All of it, good and bad. (And for goodness sakes use the correct terms).
By the time a child is 11 these days they are being faced with sex and the pressure to have it.
Don't believe me? Google it.
4. Drugs Again, another topic that seems to be everywhere. And again, unfortunately, even our youngest of children don't seem to be exempt. You hear on the news daily how children as young as 6 are being asked to both use and sell drugs within their schools.
Really, it sickens me. And in a world that all this is happening, keeping the lines of communication open in completely vital. Tell them what to do if they see drugs at school, who to tell if they are asked to do drugs, etc.
5.Their worries Are they afraid of their first day? Worried their teacher will not like them? Scared that they wont be able to do the work they are supposed to? Is it a new school? Will they know anyone? Talking about all of these things with your child before the school year starts will make it easier on the both of you.
Reassurance can be everything to a child.
If you are anything like me you are scared to death every single time fall rolls around. Not being with him every second of the day terrifies me; I'm his mom. It's my job to protect him!
But knowing that I've armed him the best I can with the knowledge that I'm always here to talk, but also informing him of what to do when I'm not there and something happens, helps put me (slightly) at ease.
Are there any other things that you like to discuss with your child before the school year starts? Things that you find important?