By Beth Morrison, HAVEN CEO
Beth pictured with her son Colin.
Another September, another year of sending off our children to school, whether it is kindergarten or college. For me this is my 17th year, as I “send off” Colin to his 4th year of college.
With the annual send off there is always a list involved – school supply list, book lists, clothing list, dorm or apartment lists and I’m sure there are even more lists! But this year I challenge parents of students of all ages to at least momentarily put their lists aside and pick up my to-do list. The good news is that it won’t cost you a dime!
Most Important Back to School To-Do List
- Talk with your child about respect. Respect for self and respect for others, especially those who are different from us. Talk about how we show respect and what to do when others don’t show us respect.
- Talk about personal space and healthy boundaries.
- Talk about tolerance, intolerance, indifference and apathy.
- Talk about healthy relationships.
- Talk about communication, the sharing of opinions and how to disagree with respect and dignity.
- Talk about consent.
- And most important, talk about trust and love. Talk about how your love for them equates into trusting them to make good decisions but in the face of bad decisions, you are there to listen and help.
And when you are done talking, continue to model your core values and beliefs around respect, tolerance, boundaries, relationships, communication, trust and love.
As parents it is so easy to get wrapped up in making sure that our kids have all the right “equipment” they need for school – the correct type of pencils, calculators, shoes, etc. But isn’t it more important that we equip them with the core values they will need to be successful as people?