Thanksgiving Tribute to Parents and Teachers

Happy Thanksgiving! In the spirit of this wonderful holiday, this week’s newsletter is a tribute to parents and teachers.

I have shared many details about struggles we have had to help my son over the past several months, including a shocking situation that caused us to pull him from his school abruptly last spring. We experienced a lot of heartache as a result, but there are many silver linings. I would like to highlight them today, and the people who helped bring them our way…

First and foremost, we are in a much better place now! The troubles from last school year pushed us (or should I say “shoved us”) into better circumstances. Our son is a wonderful school community. Most significantly, he’s happy and thriving. We couldn’t ask for more!

Along the way, many of you shared your own experiences that were all too similar. It is unfortunate that many of us have had these battles, yet your support was very reassuring. Some of you simply sent notes of encouragement. Every kind word of support and hope meant so much to us!

Regardless of what I do for a living, I am first -and foremost- a parent. No matter how much I may “know” in my head, my heart hurts when my child is struggling. The “mama bear” comes out…and she needs all the encouragement and support she can get.

If you are a teacher, I want to thank you for your dedication. You wouldn’t be reading this if you were not fully committed to your students. One kind word from you can make a world of difference. You already know this, I’m sure. But, you don’t hear it enough! You also have the power to be a significant source of hope for your students’ families, too.

Three weeks ago, I stopped into my sons’ school. Two of his teachers, independently of each other, pulled me aside as we passed each other in the hallway. Each of them shared a personal story regarding experiences they had with their own children years ago. They certainly did not have to share their personal experiences with me. But, I can’t thank them enough for extending themselves to say, “We get it. You are not alone. You will be okay.”

Most of the time, teachers don’t get the opportunity to hear the gratitude for what they offer their students and families. So, allow me to offer a sincere “thank you” on the behalf of those whose lives you’ve touched.

If you are a parent, you don’t get nearly enough encouragement! Most parents plague themselves with guilt. In your attempt to be the best parent you can be, it is hard NOT to beat yourself up because you will always think of more you can do and better ways to do it.

Break that cycle! Don’t just focus on the things you don’t (or can’t) do. Instead, give yourself just as many pats-on-the-back for all the good things you do. With every decision you make, you attempt to do what is best for your child.

But, you are human. You have an extraordinary number of responsibilities to juggle. You are tired. You simply CANNOT do everything you think you should.

Quite honestly, if you did, you wouldn’t be teaching your children about life; the ups, the downs, the consequences, and the reality of Real Life. Your humanity as a parent prepares your children for life as a human being.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to reflect on the positive impact you make on your student’s and children’s lives. Don’t worry about all of the woulda-coulda-shouldas. Think about what you DO do. Be grateful for the power you have in your life to be of service to your students and children and the capacity to love them. They may not say it nearly enough, but they love you for it!

Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Talk to you next week.



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