Friday, February 15, 2008

Middle School communication

My daughter and her friend are listening to Alvin and The Chipmunks. I think the volume should decrease a few decibels—I’m in the minority… I'm not very fond of the Chipmunks, there’s something seriously wrong with their voices.

Before leaving this morning, my 14-year-old gave me a permission slip to sign. He’s supposed to give me paperwork the night before…we’re still working on that…for the past three years…

Once children start middle school, you’re lucky to receive communication from teachers. In elementary school, information comes home in a weekly folder—I love that folder. Someone decided that middle-school students were mature enough to handle this task on their own. I’m pretty sure that "someone" didn’t have a middle-school student.

In reality, permission slips, progress reports, announcements, are handed to students and forever lost in the dark corners of their lockers and backpacks. Sometimes they’re wadded into pants' pockets—the washing machine tends to alter their legibility. My son and I had a stern discussion when he began 8th grade—I insisted on knowing about band concerts more than two hours in advance. Sometimes I do…

This morning’s form applied to a teen forum regarding drugs, sexuality, depression, and suicide. The same subjects that arose during my teen years, but far more complicated today. I’m grateful the form was due a week in advance—I’m especially glad my son remembered to give it to me. Kudos, sweetie!

I welcome any opportunity to discuss these subjects casually and objectively, because I believe knowledge is power. I want my children to make informed choices—I don’t want them relying on peers for accurate information about life.

I don’t have all the answers regarding today’s world. What I do have is love, strength and the ability to listen. That’s only enough if my children choose to discuss their lives with me. So, I’m grateful these topics arise at school, providing openings for discussions at home.

I’d also be grateful for a weekly middle-school folder...again, I’m in the minority.

No comments: