Resolutions for a New School Year

With a new school year upon us, it might be wise for parents of school-age children to make some resolutions, as in promises to themselves to change certain behaviors, avoid certain pitfalls, break old habits, and so on.

"Resolutions? Don't be silly, John, people don't keep New Year's resolutions. Why would New School Year's resolutions be any different?"

First of all, it's generally easier to change behavior when the change will benefit someone else. We tend to hold ourselves more accountable under those circumstances.

Second, even though we make these promises to ourselves with the best of intentions (usually), we may do nothing to strengthen our resolve. One effective way of doing that is to repeat the resolution on a regular basis, like a mantra of sorts.

So, here are some possible resolutions for the new school year. Pick out those that are appropriate for you, write them down or cut them out and post them on the refrigerator. Better yet, post them on the mirror in the bathroom, where you'll see them first thing every day. Read them out loud on a regular basis.

Resolved, I'm going to stay out of the homework business. After all, my child's homework is not my responsibility in the first place. He's going to do his homework in his room. Out of sight, out of mind. If he asks for help, I'll help, unless he's just looking for a shortcut, that is. Otherwise, I'm going to do my home work, let him do his, for better or worse, and let his teacher do her job.

Resolved, I'm not going to drive my child back to school if he forgets his assignments. I'm going to allow him the benefit of learning things the hard way.

Resolved, I'm going to concentrate on teaching my child the Three R's of respect, responsibility and resourcefulness, and let the teacher teach the three R's of reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic. She does her job, I do mine.

Resolved, I'm going to remember that trying to prevent my child from "falling" only makes it inevitable that someday he will fail. I'm going to remember that when something is bound to happen sooner or later, the sooner it happens, the better.

Resolved, I'm only going to enroll my child in after-school activities if he specifically asks - make that "begs" - to get involved, and absolutely no more than one at a time. My favorite after-school activity for him is going to be "go outside (or to your room) and find something to do."

Resolved, I'm not going to expect my child to excel, or even be good, at everything, If, for example, he's an excellent reader but not so hot at math, so be it. The more I accept his weaknesses along with his strengths, the more accepting he will be of himself.

Resolved, I'm not going to fall into the trap of feeling that a problem, weakness, or failing on my child's part is a reflection of problems/ weaknesses/failings of my own. I'm going to keep straight that he is he, and me is me.

Resolved, I'm going to make my life, and my child's, a whole lot easier by keeping these resolutions.

Copyright 2016, John K. Rosemond

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