Trust; in your little and their educators


October 22, 2022

When do you begin expressing the need for it, disciplining the lack of it, albeit occasionally or frequently? As we explore these “tween” years and the new challenges parents are encountering with our elementary students getting to dab their toes into the high school world sooner than most of us would choose - does this accelerate our commitment to accountability, follow up, and having to micro-parent a bit earlier? Check in more frequently on how they feel after each day, or hours at times. And how the heck do we know where to draw the line and let them fly and fend for themselves? They are still little!

The answer is none of us know! You can lay out the rules. You can ask them to have “teenager” responsibility. The truth is, are they ready? Are they ready for the peer pressure that may not be present if they did not have the high school influence of who is “popular and cool” and who is quiet, alone, not such a social butterfly or “joiner?”

In the few months our house has experienced this new “normal”, (I’ll take covid back at this point), it is evident that this normal is not only affecting the littles’ lives but also us as parents.

I understand the theory, sort of, with lack of staffing, but we have our doubts some days.

Each family is handling it the best they are able. Each family is experiencing the trials, and hopefully the success of this new program- but there are costs on both sides too.

Whether it is the child who is shining socially, but it is hindering their academics and desire to achieve what they once had the year prior; the child who is not adapting as well socially and may be bullied more than they are prepared for with no feeling of trust in their educators and administration because they do not even really know who they are much less have a trusted relationship built. Both groups are feeling guilt which seems to be hindering communication at home.

That being said, I can speak for our lil’ fam- we hear about the excitement of feeling accepted.

We also hear the empathy about the ones who may not be.

I wish there had been more preparation and guidance ahead of time. Maybe last year they had a high school buddy assigned to help the first few months. Someone they could trust to call on that had been there? An advocate on their side for the hard part of being forced to grow up a bit sooner than they maybe should?

Don’t get me wrong….I appreciate the district we choose to send our daughter to, and understand the stress of staffing and parent involvement not being what it should be at times, myself included this year.

But I feel there is a link in the chain that may be missing. For the one who feels forced to be as cool as the “big kids” and the ones being bullied for just wanting to get through the year, much less the day. Where is the empathy for these littles who still want to be little every once and awhile, but feel ashamed if they communicate it?

I hope this inspires discussion, not debate. There are positives and negatives in all things in life. This is just my take on the experience of our littles. Our littles being thrown into a big kids world earlier than some of them, and us, were prepared for.


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