Parents and kids rarely agree on what the essentials really are. The parent is looking at the price, quality and whether it is age appropriate. The kid is looking at the style, colour and the level of the "cool" factor.
Kid: "Mom, I just HAVE to have these for school! Everyone else has them!!"
Parent (in shock): "$50.00 for a T-shirt? $95.00 for pants? $175.00 for shoes?" $30.00 for a pen? You have got to be kidding me! This is insane!!! We are not made of money so keep looking!"
Kid (whining): "BUT MOM!!!!"
Parent gives the kid the look that says do as I say now or ELSE!!
Yup, it's not much fun for the parent, kid or the unfortunate shoppers and clerks that have to overhear this dialogue.
Families of all kinds have been enjoying the summer and living in blissful ignorance of the approaching cooler weather and the need for new clothes, shoes and other accessories for school.
Some parents are proactive and have been looking and purchasing items for the kids for awhile already, but I think most have been trying to avoid the inevitable hit to the pocketbook and the shocking truth that their child managed to outgrow every single item of clothing and footwear in their closet over the last two months.
Most kids have mixed feelings about going back to school. Some have been bored out of their tree and can't wait to see their friends and start learning new things. On the other hand, they have to go to bed earlier, get up earlier, meet new teachers, new classes and do the dreaded homework that will cut into their leisure time and social life. For some there are new schools and all new people - that's a little scary even for the older kids as they try to figure out where they will fit into this new world.
Then there are the teachers. After the kids left in June, they spent a week or so cleaning out their rooms before getting away for a MUCH needed break! Then they came back a couple of weeks early to get the lesson plans ready and set up the classroom in anticipation of eager young minds ready to drink in every word the teacher says. Reality is, if they've been in that school for a year or so, they know what to expect and dread about the next group of students to walk through the door and are wondering why they wanted to become teachers in the first place.
The parents have been counting the days till school starts since their little angels got out in June! Even with camp and other activities, most are ready to let someone else be in control of their kids for a few hours a day, just so they can get some of their own work done without playing social convener and referee. Parenting is a tough job.
So whether you are a student, parent or teacher, this next week is going to be a challenge as you get ready for the first week of September and the start of the new school year.
Try and play nice, okay?