A mom’s post reminds parents that our kids’ love of learning starts with us
Let’s just start with the obvious: Back-to-school shopping is a total pain. Not only does it do significant damage to our pocketbooks, but middle-of-Target debates with tween about whether to get the cheap primary-colors-only notebooks or spring for the pricey leopard-print bedazzled notebooks are like the fourth ring of hell. And by the time we actually get around to dragging ourselves to the store, the back-to-school aisles have been picked over like roadkill by a bunch of vultures and there is nary a glue stick to be found. Yes, back-to-school shopping sucks.
But a mom’s viral Facebook post reminds us that, as much as it sucks (and it really sucks), we need to mind our P’s and Q’s because little ears are listening and they pick up on our disgruntled vibes.
“They listen,” Rachel Martin from Finding Joy started her post before going on to talk about a recent trip to Target to pick up some last-minute school supplies. All she heard was complaining – about notebooks, pencils, and the number of crayons on the supply list – and she wasn’t having it.
“Listen,” she continued. “If we want them excited about school doesn’t it start with us?”
She said she understands the frustration – it costs money, the lists are ridiculously long, and that green plastic no-prong folder is sold out in a snap – but, ultimately, our words matter.
“Doesn’t it start with us deciding to not complain about supplies but instead build excitement over what will fill those notebooks? Or what those crayons will color? Or calculators compute?”
Regardless of how much you hate back-to-school shopping (and we all hate it to some extent), she does have a point. Our children hear so much more than we think, and they feed off of our energy. Children can sense when something is important to us, and therefore it becomes important to them. And make no mistake about it: Education. Is. Important.
“Education matters,” she wrote. “No matter what way – public, virtual, private, homeschool – education changes our children’s lives.”
So get excited about those school supplies, parents. Do you hear me? Get excited!
Okay, so maybe excitement is a little too much. Even I’m not buying that as I write it. Maybe a little less grumbling? And yes, I know buying 85 freaking glue sticks is annoying, but teachers really do use them and if we can save teachers from having to dip into their own pocketbooks just to do their job, I’m all for buying a few extra glue sticks.
“Those vivid Crayons [and] markers will tell stories and the hand sanitizer keep them healthy and the grid paper will provide order and the erasers will correct,” Martin wrote.
Martin told Scary Mommy that instead of fighting the challenges of back-to-school shopping, she’s learned to embrace the chaos.
“I either fight it and get grumpy, or I look around at all of us and decide that we are doing amazing things when we give and give and give,” she told us. “That’s motherhood (or fatherhood). Perfection doesn’t mean life is smooth sailing. Perfection is an imperfect crazy ride that we get to be a part of when we became moms.”
She said she hopes her post reminds parents to be more aware of their attitude about school and learning.
“From one mom who spent a bunch, too. From one mom who has complained too …They listen,” she wrote. “Love of learning starts with you.”