Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back To school

It's back to school time and many students can't wait to get reacquainted with teachers and friends. For others, the outlook is darker. Many students are not so happy about returning to school. Forget about complaints about getting up early or homework. That's just the surface symptoms. What's beneath the iceberg?

A new study released by Calle & Company indicates the reason is something the company calls AA - not alcoholics anonymous - but "Anticipation Anxiety." The sense of despair experienced by children is brought on by a feeling of being unable to anticipate what is going to happen. They don't know what's going to happen next. They don't know what to expect. That's the symptom.

The cause is busy, or lazy parents who do not adequately prepare their children for what to expect - not just the day before school - but on an ongoing basis. The failure to pass down valuable life experience increases the odds that otherwise bright children will not achieve their fullest potential.

The cure is spending more time with your kids and an equal amount of time with teachers and school principals - asking them what's coming up next, expecting and inspecting the school curriculum, enabling the children to see this daily interaction as a leadership example and translating that to a home agenda is the cure. Just going to parent teacher meetings, open school nights or PTA meetings won't cut the mustard like it did in the 50s. But then again, families were tighter units back then because families did spend more time together.

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