The Number One Back to School Essential

It’s back to school time for most children round the world. There will have been the buying of equipment, sourcing of after-school activities or care, the shuffling from here to there. Our minds are preoccupied with not only getting them ready for school but sometimes worry about how they will get on.

It’s a new school for my kids as well as three nephews and two nieces. There is a lot to process. There might be anxiety about work load for some, the fear of exams for others, the will-they-make-friends concern, etc. There is more than enough to keep us all preoccupied.

Through it all though, let’s not forget an essential ingredient that every parent must give their child – encouragement.

We may never understand the pressure kids are under today but we can guess. The need for acceptance, the need to do their best, the waiting to see if they were selected for a sports team or school play, the desire not to stand out, the pressure of exams. Add to that the proliferation of social media amongst them, children today have all sorts of pressures thrust upon them that we’ll never fully understand.

So the one thing I aim to do is to let my children know that their best is good enough. That they can do anything they set their mind on. And when they can’t, it’s OK. They need that safe place where they always have a cheerleader.  And it can get very corny in our home with my daughter getting out her pompoms to cheer her brother on, or me making positive declarations over my kids. My aim is to pump them up so much with confidence that no one on the outside can ever penetrate their veneer with arrows of negativity or condescension.

Keeping their morale up is more important than homework and all the other stuff. Sorry if you are a teacher reading this and you disagree. But a child that already feels he or she is losing is hardly going to feel able in your class.

So as parents, aunties, uncles, friends and the entire village it takes to raise a child, be the greatest cheerleader for every child in your life. Heaven knows they need it.

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