“You need to make it hard on them, school is not meant to be fun. That is how it was when I was in school!”
Recently a teacher shared this sentiment with me. It was a statement made to the teacher by the parent of one of their students.
As an expat parent with children in an international school, we will always see a variety of approaches to education based on cultural experiences. Yet when I hear statements like this, it surprises me.
Over the last thirty years, due to the increase in technology (thank you, MRI machines), the amount of research that has been on the human brain has been significant. The results and impacts on how we learn best has been significant.
Learning, using and understanding this knowledge provides amazing opportunities in how we can best educate, support and raise our children. This is especially true for sensitive children.
It is amazing how our children can be our greatest teacher and open us to so much. Many times, as we learn more about our children it opens us to a deeper understanding of ourselves.
The sentiment made by this parent is made thousands of times a day by parents all over the world in hundreds of ways. It is done with the best of intention. It is done to protect and to safeguard our children because the world is not always a nice place.
So when we see sensitivity in our children it can be scary because the world sees it as a weakness. Sometimes we try to create struggles to help strengthen our kids, which is likely what the parent above was trying to do. So to protect our children we believe that if we need to toughen them up. We do this because we see this as preparing them for life.
Yet, the hardest thing to do as a parent is to see your child suffer. Sometimes we protect our children from the pain and suffering because it might feel too hard. Yet if we can lean into the pain, we can guide them to grow and learn.
This expat parenting gig is complicated. Sometimes knowing what is the next right thing to do can feel overwhelming. Being away from family and your established community can be hard. Sometimes knowing where or how to ask for help can feel embarrassing.
You are amazing and your children are so lucky to have you!
Pssst….in case it has been one of those days I want you to know, I see you and you really are AHHHMAZING!