Friday, August 31, 2012

1, 2, 3, its school...again.

The long, hot summer is over.

The months have sped by, though the thermometer is still registering record-setting temps. Many of the western and mid-west states headed back to classes a few weeks ago and the eastern seaboard will follow within a week or two. If you're like our family, we're officially transitioning from summer pool time, holiday celebrations and road trips, back into the routines of the next season. Parent after parent with whom I speak expresses some version of ... “I really don't know where the weeks went.” Whether your children are just entering school, are in high school, or heading out the door to college, I believe there are three things that we parents must do each year to help them reach their potential. These are true no matter what combination of adopted and/or biological kids for which we care, no matter their ages, their development stage, or their perceived abilities. Today.....

 #1. Love them and believe in them. I know this seems obvious, but there are days and seasons when our kids go through stages where they aren't the most lovable. There are dark times when we can't see the way forward. Times when we want to walk into a closet and close the door and let someone else handle the tantrums and reading comprehension challenges and medical issues. It doesn't hurt to remind ourselves that love is for the long term. Love....endures....As their parents, if we don't believe in our kids, no one else is likely to.

A sense of humor was invaluable. I found that quoting from joke books and favorite sayings could diffuse some ridiculous situations. (A favorite was “Really important stuff my kids have taught me,” Copeland Lewis.) The day I read "Some weeks you really need Saturday on a Wednesday" I knew I"d found a soul mate. I turned the page and read " As long as you don't look ahead in the workbook you can make it through today's lesson." For the days when it all just seems to be too much, remember 1,2,3. Tomorrow....#2.