1. The very early getting-ready portion of the weekdays
2. The afternoon homework portion of the weekdays
Now, if you consider that my kids are in school (ie. not with me) for the middle portion, then I'm not loving about MOST of the time we are actually spending together.
The main reason is that I know from experience those two windows of time can go really badly. I can drop my kids off at school and be crying by the time I'm home because I realize I was a bear of a mother that morning. Or I can lose my patience later in the day because sometimes homework sessions are rough.
I cracked this book open recently and knew I needed a parenting refresher. Serious. I need to be ready to take on the added pressure and changed dynamics that the school season brings to my home.
Tool #2: a parenting refresher
I also want to be armed with ideas. Most importantly, I want to confidently say that the schedule and added responsibility won't take over the peace and joy in our home.
This book, if you are not familiar with it, is an adaptation of my favorite parenting book of almost the same name, How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and Listen so Kids Will Talk. If you have a child who is over the age of 2, in my opinion, you should read it. Cover to cover. Once a year. It's incredibly practical, and I guarantee some of the things you do and say to your child will be in the column of examples of what NOT to do and say. Each mom I know who has read it says that's been true for her.
So a few years ago, I purchased this version, How to Talk so Kids Can Learn, geared more towards school-related scenarios. Honestly, I bought it because I was a downright mess in trying to work with my daughter during homework time, and I knew it was primarily me who was the problem. Also, this version is written with teachers in mind. Well, I don't homeschool, but I definitely consider myself a teacher. I am, in fact, my children's first and most important teacher. That's what a mother is.
Here are some glimpses at what this book contains. It came as a surprise to me that it contained these cartoonish examples. And over time, I've come to love them. They depict very realistic scenes, and this one that I photographed is one example where I am the parent in the "What not to say" column. UGH.
Also, here are some chapters I need to reread. Like yesterday. Aren't they totally piquing your interest??
I'm actually not trying to sell you on these books. I'm just saying that one way I want to prepare for back-to-school is to refresh my parenting skills. ('Cause at least for me, it doesn't all come naturally!)
Maybe when you're out purchasing stuff in preparation for back to school - clothing, binders, and backpacks - stop at the library or bookstore and find something to prepare your own heart for good, solid mothering during the transition back to a more rigid schedule.
After school starts, my daily time with my children grows short. God knows how much I intensely desire to make the most of the hours I do have, showering them with love and grace.
Have a great weekend, friends.