For most parents, back to school season is met with a mixture of sadness, regret, apprehension, and joy. This week, our daughters, adopted ten years ago, are getting ready to head to fifth and ninth grades. I am eager for school to begin, but I am sad summer is over, and I regret those things we didn’t do, but OH YEAH! I’m so excited they are heading back to school!
One of my jobs as my kids’ mom, is to advocate my kids and especially surrounding issues around adoption or trauma sensitivity. My job is teach and to encourage schools and teachers to create learning environments where all children can thrive. Children, who were separated from their first parents, have experienced early childhood trauma. Some of these children will require methods and environments at school that other kids may not need. Some parents are not very comfortable with this advocacy role. Many of us were raised with the idea that teachers are the experts. Some of us still think that if kids get in trouble at school, they should be in twice as much trouble at home!
Parents! I just want to encourage you. You know your child better and love your child more his or her teachers do. You know your child’s needs, his or her strengths and weaknesses, and you desperately want them to succeed in school. Your child’s teachers will need wisdom from you, especially if your child bears some of the scars of a rough start in life.
My wish for you is that you will embrace the advocacy role and that you will approach any situation that has the potential for conflict between you and the teacher with a heart that is wide open for your child. I hope that you keep conversations about your child positive and that while the teacher may be informing you about difficulties at school, that you always steer the conversation back to your child’s beautiful heart.
Yes, dear parents, you will acknowledge difficulties, but you are your child’s harbor. You are the one they come home to, the place where they can be safe. You are the model of our heavenly Father’s love and forgiveness. Make sure the conversation with your child’s teacher always indicates how much you love your child and that you will always put the needs of your child first, even when that means conflict with teachers and schools.
Just know, parents…I am giving myself a pep talk through this blog post. All of the words I just wrote, are as much for me as it is for anyone else who may read this. Come on parents! We can do it!
1 Corinthians 13:7English Standard Version (ESV)
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.