I woke up last Monday morning to something new – there was no sense of anxiety.
At least it seemed new for the first day of the new school year. I’m not going to say there weren’t any problems at all. My son was already in full Do-I-have-to-go-to-school mode. But all-in-all, it was a good morning.
Everything ran smoothly. My son got up, ate, dressed, got ready. We have a routine. And as long as we follow it, things go pretty well. Usually, if we get off the routine, it’s my fault, not his.
It was interesting to see him start a new school year, his fifth grade year. It’s hard to believe he’s already that old. Like many parents, I often wonder where the time has gone.
But one thing I’ve never had to worry about are his grades. He’s always done well in school, and so far, he’s off to another good start this year.
Grades. It’s often how we determine how our kids are doing. If they’re making good grades, we often tell ourselves that our kids are doing well. But poor grades? Well, they better start working harder. Life is tough, they’re eventually going to make a living, etc.
I suppose that’s one indicator of how kids are doing, how well they’re adjusting, how well they are learning to balance responsibilities at school and home with other activities they enjoy. But certainly it’s not the only way. There are other factors to look at.
At the same time, what about us, the parents? How do we determine if we as parents are doing a good job? How do we know if we’re earning a “passing grade” raising our kids?
Sure, we can look at our kids grades at school. If those grades are good, then we can pat ourselves on the back.
But what about all the other things we’re supposed to be doing as parents? Are we meeting the needs of our kids on a daily basis?
Are we there for our kids when they need us?
It’s hard to do well on a job well when we start with no real experience. Sure we can read books on parenting, but really that doesn’t always mean much when we’re faced with parenting problems on a daily basis. We are then forced to learn on the job. And often, in retrospect, we wish we had handled things differently. Better.
All we can do is try to be the best parent we can be. To teach our kids the things we think are most important. To teach them responsibility. Being courteous to others. Earning and taking care of their money and possessions. And that’s just the beginning.
There’s no real way to know how well we’re performing as parents. Sure, we might get a few indications along the way, but nothing definite.
It would be like taking a class for an entire year with no tests. And then at the end, you take the test, yet you were never really sure what to study for. But in the case of parents, the class lasts for years before the grade is revealed.
In our case, we just have follow our instincts as parents. And in the end, we can then look at our kids to determine the grade we deserve.