This month as children and young adults head back to school, I want to share a special guest post with you. I shared this article around the same time last year. It’s has a very special meaning to me and it’s one that should hit home with parents. The article was written by my son, DeJuan Owens as he started his junior year of high school.
This is the time of year where you will see lots of stuff on sale, mainly stuff for kids. Books, pencils, rulers, crayons, glue, tissues, clothes and the snacks kids love. Why? Well, you probably already know the answer to this question. It’s the time where kids all across America are going to back to school. For them, summer vacation has come to an end and it’s “back, back, back to school again”.
There are a lot of articles that talk about getting the best deals, the best school supplies even do it yourself projects. In fact, I know my mom is probably reading some, and if you can also check out the article by author Paulina Podgorska, “Summer To School: The Five Ss Of Getting Ready”.
With all the excitement of new clothes, new shoes, and new supplies, I want you to also think about what your child may be experiencing as they transition back to school. If your kids are anything like I am, going back to school is bittersweet. I’m happy to see some friends and teachers again. I’m not happy because I won’t be able to play video games and go to the movies as often as I do during the summer.
I tend to get off course with my sleeping pattern, staying up to play, you guessed it, video games. During summer vacation, I have fewer responsibilities because there is no homework, no science projects, no need to study for a test. It is a much more relaxed environment, with basically very little pressure. But now you want me to get up at what time and go to bed by when? Yikes!
So if I were to leave a note for my mom on what I was thinking before I head off for another year of school, here is what I would tell her:
Please patient with me as I adjust during the first few weeks of school, especially if I am going to a new school.
There may be times I come to you for help with a problem I am having. Please take time to really listen to me and help me come up with solutions.
When I do come to you, please put the cell phone down. Turn from your computer or turn away from the TV. See, I am still coming to you to share what is happened today or to ask you a question about life. Don’t choose those things over me.
I know you went to school a long time ago. Things are different now. We have new technology and new rules. Don’t be afraid to tell me you don’t know or understand something. It’s okay. Just teach me how to look for the answer.
Realize, I may not do things exactly the way you would do them. As long as I am doing the right thing, let me try it my way.
Sometimes I may have a bad day and just need a hug from you. Please don’t ever stop hugging me.
When it seems like I am not listening or I am not doing as well as you would like me to, I want you to remember three things. First be patient. Encourage me and guide me and I will do better. Second I am listening. It may take a while to sink in, remember I am still learning. The third reason is the most important of all. You are my example, my model and as Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Oh yeah, and remember. Even if it seems like I don’t sometimes, I love you….
Whether or not you have an elementary, high school or college student, the level doesn’t matter, please keep these thoughts in mind during this upcoming school year. Are you ready to go back to school now?