Well, we’ve almost made it through the first week of school, and what a week it was! I’m sure your children are exhausted after the last few days – be sure to let them get lots of sleep this weekend.
I’ve been thinking and talking a lot lately about the idea of appreciating the small things, and I’ve really come to do that this week. We spent a good deal of time planning the opening days to make sure kids had opportunities to get to know one another, feel comfortable about their classes, and just have fun, and the planning paid off – you should see the movies the advisory groups created! But what I loved even more than the orientation games and activities were the smaller moments – laughing with students, seeing new friendships form, and witnessing genuine enthusiasm for each other and for the school. The Middle School is a wonderful place to be!
On Wednesday evening, I had the chance to head down to Graland Country Day School to see Michael Thompson speak. Dr. Thompson has written some excellent books about the social and emotional health of children, including Homesick and Happy and Best Friends, Worst Enemies. The evening talk on Wednesday was geared towards parents, and he had some valuable nuggets of information that I know I will take away, both as an educator and a parent.
Dr. Thompson talked at length about the parental tendency to “interview for pain.” Here’s an example: your child comes home from school and tells you that Sally was mean to her. Just by getting to talk to you about it, she already feels better, but you feel worse, wondering why Sally would be mean to your wonderful child and trying to figure out how to prevent that from happening again. The next day, your child comes home, and you open the conversation with, “How was Sally today? Did anything happen?” Your child has already moved on, but you... » read more