Am I Doing What's Right For My Kids?
It’s September, back to that time of year! If you’re not juggling with schoolbooks and back-to-school schedules, odds are that you’re still feeling the groove of September.
Yes that groove, that beautiful groove of vacation time. I don’t know about you, but it is a bit difficult for me when summer ends. I like the laid-back feeling of not having to get up so early and going in so many directions.
My son really doesn’t mind school. Trust me if I said you have another month off, he would be excited, but he really doesn’t give too much resistance to the new schedule. What about you and your family? Getting back to school and into the swing of things can bring up many questions, reflections, concerns or overwhelment.
Am I really doing what’s right for my kid? There are so many options out there, and I don’t want to do things just because they’re easy, or because that’s what my parents did for me. Times are changing, my friends: there’s no one-size-fits-all to parenting, and we’re constantly reminded of the other options out there. Some reflections or choices might look like this:
Is public schooling really the best option for my child? I hear so much about private schooling, home schooling, Montessori schools. Are these options worth it? Is it worth the investment or money?
My daughter would rather play video games than join a sport or club--how do I get her interested in these extracurriculars? Do I draw the line and unplug the XBox, or do I try to offer her some alternatives in a fun way and hope to inspire her rather than grill her?
When I come home my kids are happy and having fun, but no homework is done. How do I instill better homework methods and habits in them?
All of these choices require a conversation between yourself, your spouse and your child, but there are other alternating opinions and input everywhere. Maybe your father-in-law thinks your son should carry on the family legacy and join the school football team, but what if your son is more interested in the debate team? What if your daughter is excellent at playing the violin, but wants to drop it because it’s become too hard?
There are choices that require thought, reflection, but most importantly, what knowing what is best for your kid. Sometimes, these choices might seem hard--and sometimes it might feel you’re running into a brick wall. But, before you do anything, take a step back and really listen to your kids with an open heart. Take a moment to make sure you are coming from a loving space and doing what is right for your child and your family. It will bring you to a better place--of peace and acceptance.
Many times, friends, in-laws, co-workers, the guy on the street, social media, or teachers may input their own advice. And very often they’re coming from a good place, well meaning and you should listen with open ears...or maybe not. Can you tell if it is coming from love or from their own fear based stuff… or better yet, is it just the way they grew up and that is their only point of reference?
What choices are you facing with your children? What areas are you questioning, wondering about?
Remember: You may appreciate the advice from your family and friends, but in your heart, the best option might be to say ‘Thank you so much, I know how much you care, and we will definitely consider what you have to say and all your wisdom...But--yes, here comes the ‘but’--at the end of the day, we have to figure out what is right for us and our family. You can always throw in a bit of humor and tell them that it is only fair that you get your chance to screw up the kids, or have them say how you ruined their lives.
Ahh yes, It is always easier to parent other people’s kids.
Whatever you do …. Just love your kids. I promise that everything will work out in the long run.
And give them a hug from me. Much joy