The Labor Day holiday marks the official end of what we hope was a wonderful summer break for you and your family. It’s hard not to notice that it is getting darker earlier in the evening and that the air has begun to cool. Now that September is upon us, this Headlines edition includes some last-minute information and reminders to help your family have a smooth start to the school year.
The weeks leading up to the first day of school can be a time of significant stress for everyone. It is completely normal if your teen-ager has been showing signs of anxiety, especially if he or she has recently enrolled. Worries about having the “right” clothes, shoes, supplies, hair color or style, as well as concern that they will not know anyone or make friends quickly are all to be expected. Fortunately, this fear of the unknown has an expiration date: Tuesday, September 3. After the first day, your child will have gained a mental picture and a little experience with the surroundings, school staff, and other students. From that point on, I think you will discover that they will adjust rapidly to the new routine.
While some teen-agers will share numerous details about their school life with their parents, many will maintain an impenetrable wall of silence. Once again, this is natural since a primary task of adolescence is developing independence. At the same time, as caring parents we may feel a little left out. With so much of the focus on the child, we often forget that the teen-age years mark a transition in our own lives as parents. Just as we experience mixed feelings when our child takes his or her first steps – we are so proud they are learning and growing, yet we will miss our snuggly babies – it is natural to have ambivalent feelings about our child becoming a young adult.
To support our parents when they have questions about our school and to provide a place to discuss timely topics of interest with other parents, I invite you to join us at our monthly Parent Advisory meetings. Later in this newsletter you will find more information on this month’s meeting.