June 13, 2024
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June 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

From Swimming Pools To Classroom Rules

I received a note from my nine-year-old son in sleep away camp this summer, which read as follows, “Dear Imma, I caught two turtles and a snake but don’t worry, I washed my hands. Please buy me Berry Captain Crunch. Love, AJ.”

As I read this letter, I relished in parental glee, thrilled that my son was enjoying the great outdoors and having fun as a camper sleeping in a bunk for the first time. He was playing sports, eating sugared cereal, picking out his own mismatched clothes, and catching slimy creatures. What 9-year-old boy could ask for anything more?

(I happen to be working at the same camp that my son attends, but that is totally irrelevant for this article. And yes, he did write me the note and sent it to my office!)

If only we could bottle up all the joys of summer to get us through the grind of the school year. Making the transition from summer vacation to the school year is not an easy one. There is an element of fear that we are beginning something new—new teachers, new classmates, and sometimes even a new school. While the new school year does offer our children the opportunity to start fresh and reinvent themselves, we as parents play a large role in shaping this new beginning.

The classroom is not the only place where our children learn. They learn from the behavior of the adults around them. Parents should not underestimate the importance of setting the proper mindset of their children when going back to school. Encouraging our children to foster a positive attitude toward school, and helping them embrace the new year as a step toward independence, can make all the difference. Students with a good attitude have a much greater chance of making the most of their educational experience and excelling. Therefore, it is imperative that we promote the same excitement for school as we did for summer vacation.

When children hear us kvetch or speak disparagingly about carpool lines, extraneous school supplies, the dress code, or our ever growing tuition bill, let’s take a moment and remember that their little ears will internalize our banter into a real stressor. We do not want our children to feel responsible for something out of their control.

The burden is on us to ensure we deliver happy, excited children to school. Just as the summer months provide our children with the opportunity to flourish in various arts and sports activities, each new academic year brings with it tremendous potential for growth and development and the gift of a new beginning. Shana Tova!

By P’nina Seplowitz

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