Parents really do seem to live their lives under a microscope lately. So much so that movies like Bad Moms have gained tremendous popularity as it challenges the notions of what it means to be a parent, especially under intense strain and scrutiny.
Academics is one area where this is perhaps most true. We want our kids to get the most out of their schooling and so we try and take part every single step of the way. Sometimes we can drive ourselves crazy trying to make sure our children do the absolute best in everything, whether it’s class, school, their social life …
You don’t need to join PTA because it’s not mandatory
The PTA is great. Joining it is also great. You get to take a firm hand in the running of your child’s school as you become part of their experience of going through each grade.
Not everyone has the time or energy for it and that is OK. For those parents who are able to manage PTA meetings and activities, I salute you. The rest of us? Relax, it isn’t a big deal.
That fundraiser can raise itself
When my kids first started school, we participated in as many fundraisers as we could and they were hell! Chocolate, wrapping paper, coupon books and all the things nobody really wants.
I hated harassing my co-workers, friends and family to buy them. Eventually, my wife and I went on strike: no more fundraisers. Instead, we buy something from each of our kids, send them with a little bit of money for the school and let it go.
A missed assignment isn’t the end of the world
Oh no! You totally forgot to do the spelling, math and reading the night before! The empty boxes waiting for your signature stare up at you, taunting you. What a bad parent you are! Letting your kid play and go to bed early without their assignments complete!
Look, it happens to everyone (it happens to me about once a week). Take a deep breath and just do better the next day. A single night of missed homework isn’t going to kill your child’s academic career and if they need to they can make it up.
Your goal as the parent is to make sure you aren’t adding stress to your teen who may already be hating their school work. Instead, focus on encouraging, supporting and helping them. Avoid forcing, pushing, and shaming them for their school work. If this means backing off of deadlines and letting them fail a class or two, then do it! Your child is smart enough to recognize the rewards of hard work and the sufferings of procrastination. Trust them.