Sunday, June 29, 2014

Prepare or Protect? (Summer Homework for Parents)

Let's face it, if we could make childhood, adolescence, and those dreaded teenage years absolute bliss for our kids, we would.  Free from harm, hurt, and harassment.  Full of joy, surrounded by friends, and academic success.  However, this is not the way the life works.  Working in the field of education, I have come across many families who work hard to make the world their children live in pretty amazing.  They have written some excellent (and not so excellent) research papers for their children, made some healthy lunches for them daily, picked out what to wear for them each and every day, ensured that they would never be placed in the same class with the rumored school 'bully', and always fought to be placed in the class with the teacher that they knew was a 'better fit' for their child.

But what happens when those children reach an adult age and aren't protected by his/her parents anymore?Are skills in place for good decision making?  When life gets difficult, will he or she be able to cope?  I do believe that we have a large population of overprotected young adults that are not prepared, and this is why we have an increase in violence with young adults.  Independence, responsibility, and learning to handle the circumstances that we are given (at all ages) prepares children for the future.  It's ok for your child to have to make his lunch everyday beginning at a young age.  It's ok for your child to have to do her own homework, and then get the grade earned, even it it is a C.  It's ok for your child to have the teacher that is rumored to be challenging...there is a lot to be learned and overcome when presented with challenges.  When we are faced with challenges, we learn to get through them, and there is a great feeling of pride and accomplishment when we have.  Let's start this early with our kids.

I challenge parents to do some summer homework and reflect on some general practices.  Are you preparing or overprotecting?  What can you do to get them even more ready for college and beyond?

I've included a very short article from Time Magazine below, it may help with your homework.  Check it out.

Time Article

Keep it simple...but do your homework!  ♥D

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