Does it feel like a million things are being thrown at you right now?
Just when you think you're going to have a real date night or a free evening to relax at home, you get an email from the school, and your calendar is booked solid again.
We get it. Back-to-school season can be so hectic for both parents and students. No matter how out of control things feel, we want you to know we're here to support you.💛
Let's take this time to address some common concerns and fears you may have and the practical actions you can take to tackle them head on.
"I feel like we're on hold with so much uncertainty. We don't know the kids' schedules, what they'll need or what they'll struggle with."
I know this uncertainty is so stressful. With school starting soon and the schedule on hold, it's natural to worry about potential struggles and feel like you don’t have agency. But let's take this one step at a time. You do have some agency.
- Start by asking your child what classes they're excited for as well as what they may be feeling nervous about. This will help you identify areas they may need support in.
- A mentor can support them in those areas to get ahead of any issues. For example, if your concern stems from your kid's management of their schedule, a mentor can help your student with executive function -- planning, organization, etc. and take that off your plate.
- As the year unfolds, we'll be with you to line up the right support every step of the way. Let your child know that you're there to collaborate with them, too. Sometimes they just need a little extra love and support.
"I've got one kid in this school and another in that school. They have different needs, but both need attention. I feel like I'm being pulled in multiple directions."
This is so challenging. But remember -- you don't have to do it alone! Think of yourself as the CEO of your household, empowered to delegate tasks and seek help where needed. Maybe a math mentor can support your student with homework, preserving your relationship. Lead with curiosity and ask your child what they're struggling with and how you can support them. Then, build out your support team from there. Don't be afraid to lean on your network and delegate tasks - your partner, a Curious Cardinals mentor, family, friends. When you all work together, each child can get what they need and you can navigate this season successfully without carrying the burden all on your own.
"My child is entering an important grade year...How do I support them? How do I load up on academic help or enrichment accordingly?"
Certain grades can feel pivotal - like the transition to middle school, Bar/Bat Mitzvah year, starting high school, or junior year with looming college apps. The stakes seem high, and as a parent, it's natural to feel overwhelmed. Here are some tips:
- Lean on resources like mentors who've been there before. Or friends with kids in the grade ahead of your child. They can demystify the path ahead.
- Lead with curiosity - ask your child openly about their hopes and worries for the upcoming year. Don't rely on assumptions. Your kid may be more confident or less confident in an area than you originally thought.
- Use those insights to plan support throughout the year.
- Keep the bigger picture in mind. Each year builds on the next. Help your student understand what this one year means in their holistic journey.
This is an adaptation of the Curious Cardinals weekly newsletter. Sign up to get your own here!