When your kids go to school, you go along with them.
Remember your last day of school? Maybe you dashed around scrawling your name with a marker pen on your classmate's uniforms, or simply basked in the feeling that school was over - forever. Forever, that is, until you had children of your own and the time came to send them to school.
Even though you don't sit in the classrooms with them, parents end up sharing ANOTHER twelve years of school.
Here are some ways you could make it easier:
I don't mean move to another school (although sometimes this can help to get a child more engaged), but, rather, if you had a bad time at school as a result of bullying or difficulty learning or just a mean teacher or two, don't expect the same from your child.
Believe it or not, some children really enjoy going to school and all that goes with it - learning, friendship and activities. Transferring your school nightmares onto your kids can create an unnecessary sense of insecurity.
Even if you aren't a 'joiner', you can get involved. Lifting kids to sports matches or pitching in at the tuck shop can be a great way to meet the parents of other children, the children who will be your own child's friends.
You will also get to observe the way your child is with his friends; an opportunity you may not have at home.
Many kids think homework is a pain, but then it can often be annoying for parents, too. After a busy day, it’s hard to summon up the energy required to coax your kid into solving maths problems or provide painstaking advice on how to deliver an oral without sounding too bossy.
It’s worthwhile, though, as your downtime can provide extra bonding time. Making it your responsibility helps to encourage commitment from your child, too.
The parent-teacher meetings and others the school may ask you to attend really do have value. You get to see how the teachers think and can interact with the person with whom your child is spending time, even if only for a few minutes.
In addition, it gives these teachers confidence that you are supportive of their efforts.
Concerts, variety shows and other performances
There's nothing quite as satisfying as watching your child standing on a stage scanning the audience for mom or dad and the look of delight when they finally find your face in the sea of other adult faces.
In a way, they are performing for you, so it’s twice as moving when they muddle through a song or script and blush as the applause fills the room. Sure, it may mean sacrificing an evening of watching TV, but you’ll only see one or two dozen of these throughout their school careers.
And just like that, those twelve years will be over. Until your kids have children of their own. Then you can be that involved grandparent who pitches in at school… for another twelve years.
What advice would you give to help parents make the most of their child’s school years? Share your thoughts and experience by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your story. Should you wish to remain anonymous, please let us know.