We’ve all gotten “that” form at the beginning of the year. Get to know me. Get to know them. Tell me something I should know about your child. Yo beach, don’t get them wet, feed them after midnight, and they don’t like bright lights. Then the dreaded question, “what do you want your kids to learn this year?”
Please stand by why I think of something clever to say.
I swear, half this sh…tuff is just another way for teachers to give out homework peeplze. Never mind your laundry list of to-dos and trying to make it look seamless.
My kids are today only and forever unpredictable, but that is not going to get me out of answering the question or you for that matter. But don’t worry, I’m here to help.
Here is my answer to what I want my kids to learn this year and a few free printables (bottom of this post) to help you along the way. It works great for adults too!
Teacher: What do you want your kids to learn this year?
Thinking to myself: what is the right answer?
Am I suppose to give her advice on how to do her job?
Shit, what is happening here?
Relax, she isn’t asking you how to do her/his job.
Good night, regulations on testing (in Texas any way) wouldn’t even allow them to apply your suggestion even if they wanted to.
This is a great time to share your ambitions as a parent with them. If it fits in to their plans, great! If not, oh, f’n well, stop stressing out over this stuff.
I have four children, one who graduated two weeks after turning 17, and a rocket scientist for a husband with two masters degrees. I work double time to feel smart around them.
What I do want my kids (and husband) to know is, life is good.
Not easy, but good.
Life is hard. Scott Peck made sure that was the first line in his book The Road Less Traveled, so it must be true.
It is my job to provide a space for myself, and them, that is simple, easy and fairly comfortable to manage emotionally. In doing so, it is my aim to also make that space available where ever they are with or without me.
Because we love them.
What do you want your kids to learn this year?
Cue practical tools for navigating rough waters. That’s what I want my kids to learn this year!
How to stop being scared and try again!
My response to each one of my three children’s teachers that are still in school was the same. Feel free to modify it however you like if you think they might be getting together during their lunch breaks and comparing notes. Copy it verbatim if you are racking your brain and coming up with nothing. Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up. You work hard. Being a parent is hard. This should not be a thing, but those teachers will never stop trying to teach us.
Do what you like, this is just a place to start and the first few lines can be tailored to your child’s personality easily:
Dear Blah, Child number four is very outgoing and makes friends easily. Right now he is focus on things being “fair” and has become more animated about his frustrations, groaning and moaning frequently. Our goal for him this year is to help grow his tolerance for mistakes and encourage him to keep trying despite his “set backs”.
Some of the steps we are taking at home:
- Identify what he can and cannot control,
- ways to help “grow” his brain, and
- goal think sheets.
Next, add what you like after this if you want to share more. For example, we personally are working as a family to be more efficient and debt free. I might mention we are also encouraging him to shut off the lights behind him, etc. See the plan when you’re kids don’t listen.
Everything described below can be further explored by signing up for the free Fear Playbook below. It includes worksheets, coloring pages and other goals/resources to help encourage you and your little ones to keep trying despite the fear.
Step 1 – Identify what you can and cannot control
This works at any age and in that anonymous program too. By helping identify what they can and cannot control you are setting them up for less disappointment. Planting their feet in reality and helping them not spin out of balance for no good reason.
It might look like this:
Child #4: Jimmy is being mean to me.
Me: Well, Jimmy’s mommy is crazy and his dad ran off with the nanny.
Bro, you know you’re not going to lay that out there and frankly, it wouldn’t matter to them if you did. Your kid could give two cracks why Jimmy’s mean. All your child knows is: Jimmy is being mean/Jimmy hurts me.
What is in their control? Not Jimmy. Not Jimmy’s parents. And definitely not the nanny.
What is in their control? Being kind, their own rewards, making friends, etc.
Step 2 – Ways to help “grow” your brain
Again, good for all ages. This is some basic stuff here; so is moving your body everyday, but we don’t always do it. This is simply a reminder of what habits make for a stronger mind. When you approach your front door, close your eyes and try to open the door with them shut. Neurons are firing. Get a good nights rest, etc. These are all steps that help your mind grow.
Step 3 – Goal Think Sheets
Divulging a little here. When kids get in trouble at our school, I mean real trouble (since they can’t spank them anymore), they are sent home with a “think sheet.” My children combined have not surpassed a dozen think sheets in their academic careers; the form appropriately scares the crap out of them. Well played academic lady, well played.
The idea of overcoming the negative condensation of a “think sheet” makes me very happy.
Who’s teaching who now! P.S. All that bad punctuation and grammar is on purpose.
(And they told us we wouldn’t always have a calculator with us. Boy we showed them! Thanks phone calculator.)
Okay, teacher baggage aside, this is a way to get your kids to set goals and track their progress. I love hitting the mark and these little mini-mes are no different. Setting simple goals with them and checking back in is a great way to build momentum and good vibes.
What do you want your kids to learn this year?
This year, if you are having trouble with the dreaded, what do you want your kids to learn this year, I suggest you take a step back. This is an opportunity for you to apply a little teaching at home. Their teacher being your wing-man at school is just an added bonus. The three step process is a great way to remind them what is within their power to change, if change is needed at all, and what can help develop their minds (e.g., how little challenges can help spruce up the place). Finally, it is an assist in the forward thinking department. How important it is to set goals and track them? Remind them they are doing great, even if they aren’t out trying to change the world. Think of it as if they changed the toilet paper roll. It is the little things my friend.
Here is another fun way to motivate your kids and get them to help out around the house: Fun Kids Chore Jar.