Gone are the days when the kids don’t want you walking them to class or kissing them goodbye in front of their friends. My kids went back to school today (half of them, anyway). They’re in kindergarten and third grades; and nothing I could have done embarrasses them. They love me. They currently think that I am the person who walks on water and does pretty much everything amazingly well. They were relatively embarrassed by my public display of dance recently at Disney Springs, but they got over that pretty quickly. Right now, I’m their mom and I’m still cool to them. My days are pretty numbered with my five-year-old, to be truthful. She’s not amused by me – or anyone for that matter.
At this moment in time, I can kiss my kids in front of anyone, yell that I love them across the room, and they kind of don’t mind when I live big lipstick prints on their faces when I kiss them. They still love me. I’m a rock star. Not to brag or anything, of course. While I might not be able to embarrass them with kisses and hugs at school (please never, ever end), I can definitely embarrass them at school, especially on the first day. I work very hard to make sure that I don’t, and I hope I didn’t fail to miserably. Do you pass the test, or will your kids be mortified on their first day of school?
Spilling classified details in front of everyone
All right, I was even embarrassed by this one. Last week when we attended open house, we were in our daughter’s third grade classroom meeting her teacher, meeting new friends and having a good look at her syllabus and her classroom. That’s when another mother began telling the teacher that if her daughter says she needs to use the bathroom, she needs to go now – every single time. She has IBS and she sometimes has very embarrassing accidents in her pants if she’s not able to go to the bathroom right this very second.
The little girl was mortified, my daughter was trying very hard to be kind to her and distract her and the teacher was asking the mother if perhaps they could schedule a time to speak on the phone later that evening rather than having this conversation in front of every single person in the room. The mother was not phased. The little girl looked like she might actually die of embarrassment. My heart hurt for her. Embarrassing our kids is fun, but not when it’s personal and hurtful and actually embarrassing information like this.
Sending your child unprepared
I admit that I always wait until the last moment to shop for supplies for back-to-school. I’ve learned that the list the teachers provide is never even similar to the one that the schools provide local stores so parents have them early, so I always wait. Inevitably, this means that I’ll end up not being able to find something. This year it was fine point black expo markers. I ended up needed two packages of four – and had to buy 8 packages of colored expo markers since each one had a black one in it. I wasn’t about to send my kid unprepared.
That’s embarrassing for them, sets you off on the wrong note with the teacher, and it makes everyone feel unprepared. Be prepared and make sure your children have all that they need.
Labeling your child
It’s easy to do this, I know. I have four kids and our 5-year-old is a handful in a beautiful manner. She’s not a bad kid by any means; she’s sweet and kind and very well-behaved. However, she’s not a pushover, she doesn’t tolerate injustice and she’s not about to say what you want to hear just to make you happy. If she thinks you’re being rude, she will ask you where your manners are. If she thinks that you’re wrong, she will stick with her own opinion. If she’s not sorry for something, she will not apologize. She also doesn’t lie – she will straight out admit to pushing another kid and then tell you why she did it. She owns up to everything she does, and she has no problem with it when she feels it’s justified.
It would be so easy for me to look at her kindergarten teacher and tell her that Ava is a handful or that she’s strong or spirited or kind of a dominating little know-it-all, but I won’t. I won’t label my kids at home (to their faces) and I won’t provide preconceived notions to their teachers. I’ll let them make their own assumptions and develop their own feelings for my kids, and without my help. It’s a little embarrassing for kids to walk into class knowing that their parents told their teachers they’re a handful or a little rowdy; they might feel that this will make the teacher not like them.
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