Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bend Like a Willow

This advice is from a parent who became a friend after I taught her son twice, once in the 2nd grade and again in the 5th. She challenged me, supported me, and as you'll be able to tell, her wisdom is amazing!
A new middle school parent should be aware that giving their kid an armor against being defined by anyone or anything other than themselves, will be one of the greatest gifts given. Events will happen to look like game-changing events (e.g., being cut from a sports team and wondering where life goes from there), and though decisions like this one are most certainly going to change the pattern of their life, they are NOT to be defined by the perceived rejection. "Get up. Chase the next great adventure in your life. Best foot forward, always." Teaching a kid at that age (or long before) that they are in control of and accountable for their decisions, their choices, their actions and the outcomes of events surrounding them, is a good way to build up the strength they will need to be a self-assured, strong-minded middle school student. "Bend like a willow or break like an oak." Willows survive the storm because they are strong, yet flexible. Oaks see only one way to get through it - and when the storm is too rough, they break. No more broken kids...let's equip them with the tools they need in order to "bend" in the storm. ~Tara Greene (mother of three adult children)
She's so right! Teach your child to not allow other people to define him/her. Feelings will be hurt because children this age do not have filters. They are all still a work in progress. Your son/daughter's attitude towards a difficult situation can/will make all the difference. Teach your child to BEND!

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