Excitement, fear, stress, and optimism are all great words that can be used to express the emotions we all feel as both parents and children, while the “Back To School” season approaches once again. For some of us, it can be a new beginning, with a chance to start again. For others, it may represent a summer lost, having wasted the initial carefree days away, only now, to see it’s end, speeding quickly towards another glorious finale. Regardless, another school year is rapidly approaching, and the dog days of summer are quickly fading into our memories.
While nearly everyone we hear from, and most every ad that plays, has its sights focused solely on our children, and their back to school experience. But what about us as parents? What about our needs, and the potential benefits we can gain from this time of year?
For me, being a Father of two boys, I look back fondly of the steamy summer nights spent at the ball field, or the sounds of crickets chirping, with a crackling fire in the distance, while the gleaming hues of yellow and orange light, shine up on our casted fishing poles, sunk deep into the muddy waters; in search of our next big catch. However, this time of year will happen whether we want it to or not. The facts remain, that the summer season is winding down, and the heat we’re all suffering from will quickly turn to a chill. Autumn will inevitably arrive once again, and welcome us with her cool breezes, football games, and Halloween candy that has yet to be devoured.
So with all of the memories we’ve made over the past few months, we must ask ourselves, what is left for us parents to look forward, as this coming Back To School season blows in on us like a Midwestern Thunderstorm. Well, for one, it gives us, just as it does with our children, the opportunity to make new friends, and build new relationships; while countless families begin their journeys into a new school, a new community,, and a new life.
This transition can be seen as a stressful event for not only children, but for us adults as well. And with this transition, we have only 2 options as we move forward. We can one; run and hide, or two; take this opportunity to make new friends, new partnerships, and create new bonds with those who are new to our lives and our communities. Just as we preach to our children, now is the time for us to embrace these new opportunities, as the Back To School Season brings us all new possibilities; even for us as parents?
As parents, we preach to our children to befriend all, and to not exclude anyone from their circles; often using the common phrase, “treat them as you would like to be treated”. So as adults, shouldn’t we also do as we say, and not as we “typically” do. For each of us, now is the time to reach out to that new family, and invite them for an opportunity to join your circle. Give them the same opportunity as we would want our children to do with their own classmates; and and offer the olive branch to not just the children, but to their parents as well. I’m not saying everyone will be the right fit, or connect in the way you hoped for, but remember, we never know what relationships will form, until we as adults, step outside of our own comfort levels, and take the opportunity to grow. Who knows, the person you befriend this Back To School season may end up being the friend you’ve been searching for all these years. The friend you never would have found; had you not taken that chance to simply say hello.
For all of us, this is an exciting time of change, not just for our children, but for ourselves as parents. Now is the time to step outside of what we think is comfortable, and reach out to those who are new to your school and community. These new people could bring so many new experiences and potentially, so much fun to our lives; if we give them the chance to introduce themselves. This year, let’s all commit to making this coming school year potentially better for ourselves and our families. Let’s desire a little more from ourselves, than we have in the past. Remember, we all want more fun, more connections, more opportunities, and more friendships. What’s wrong with that? In order for this to happen, it begins with us, and making the choice. As for me, I choose to expand my world, my relationships, and my experiences. I’m excited for this coming year! Will you do the same?
Share your experiences with us by commenting on our blog. Have you experienced this before? If so, how has it impacted you and your family. We’d love to hear your stories!