It’s that time of year again. We are about to send our kids to school and sports and all the places we send them in the fall. I love it. I love a good schedule. We Lexows just function better as a family with a little routine in our week. Summer is great and the break is good but I’m going to be honest…we are better with a plan.
And speaking of better, I’ve got an idea. What if we parents made a plan to be better? What if we said we were going to make a conscious effort to be better to each other? I just think that parenting is hard enough on it’s own but then when you add in the snark that we, as parents, often deal out to each other, it makes it a million times harder. Here are some ideas I’ve been tossing around:
What if we all walked into the school year with the attitude that all of our kids are good but none of them are perfect? What if we decided to assume that sometimes our kids are going to be stupid rotten, because they’re kids, and that everyone else’s kids are probably going to do the same? What if we understood that being stupid rotten from time to time is part of being a kid and not a direct reflection of the parents?
What if 90% of the parents signed up for 10% each of the volunteer jobs instead of the other way around? I feel like more would get done with less frazzled moms. Maybe everyone could contribute to one or two of the school carnival/sport team/Sunday School/whatever events and then we wouldn’t have that one lady at the end of school picnic screaming at everyone like a mad woman because she is volunteered out and her clipboard is broken.
What if we all spoke words of truth and kindness and peace to each other and about each other?
What if the moms and dads who’ve known each others faces since our kids were in kindergarten together could learn to say, “Hello” in the aisle at Home Depot instead of acting like we don’t know each other? You don’t have to stop and have a conversation with me about the GOP debate but it would be nice if you didn’t take your cart and run the other direction. It seems like if we all learned to smile and speak then our kids might see that and do the same. Maybe. I could be wrong.
What if we prayed for each other instead of criticizing each other? If we all lived with the assumption that everyone has a story we might offer a little more grace.
Maybe this is all crazy talk and I’m full of rainbow dreams. I just can’t help but believe that we have an incredible responsibility as parents to show our kids the way. I worry sometimes about the way we are showing. I don’t think anyone intends to teach their kids that being over-scheduled and over-tired and over-busy is the way. I don’t think we wake up one day and declare that we are going to teach our sons and daughters to be snobs. I don’t believe for even one minute that any of us set out to build judgmental children. Our actions, however, speak far greater than our words.
“Do as I say and not as I do” won’t cut it anymore.
We have to lead the way. We have to declare this school year as the year we make a difference in our community/state/world. It starts in my kitchen. It starts in your living room. We the parents have to decide that kindness wins and love over comes. We have to make a plan.