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I’m working at an Open House for the school I teach at. Since we are a K-12 school, we get a variety of student ages coming through to see the teachers and hear about the programs. Here’s a funny thing I notice. Many parents ask about our high school curriculum, but then I see their kid and he/she is in Middle School, sometimes younger. (The kid is always silent during these interactions, for good reason – I was not thinking about what classes I wanted as a Senior while beginning puberty.)

Many times the parents are coming from a place of anxiety. You can practically see it in the air. It’s understandable. The parents are basically saying, Make sure my kid is going to be OK. Help me know my kid’s going to make it. Make me feel better. Again, understandable.

Of course, a school can have some influence on easing this anxiety. But only so much. Even with a school offering a lot of one-to-one work, if your kid has to labor for hours on schoolwork, nothing’s going to change that. Even with a world class high school sports program, if your kid athletically peaked in middle school, nothing’s going to change that. What if you have an artist child? Or a business child? Or a counselor child? Or a child who’s bound to wander in the desert for a time? What school program can account for that?

It comes down to understanding we only have so much influence in the direction of our children’s lives. Important influence, but only so much. Many times, our work as parents is to settle into that understanding and see what happens.

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