Friday, September 14, 2007

Back to school - Advice to mommies and daddies everywhere

Dear Evolved Moms: Our son Casey is beginning Kindergarten this year. We are thrilled and terrified. I feel like I can't protect him there. Shield him from questions about his family. I know I need to let go, a little. Any advice for the first time school day lesbian mom? Thanks! Ella.

Oh Ella, I hear you!
My kids went back last week
second grade and Pre-K
Our son had been in public school for 2 years
the fit was not for us
so we needed to do some looking around
soul and school searching

I would say that the degree of letting go
depends on many factors

Factor 1) Search out the best fit possible
private or public
close to home or a drive
a school where you feel great about the love
and the learning
Factor 2) trust
when you feel you can
hand the control over to the school
and teachers
and say
you are the experts
I know you will do a great job.
then you have the right school
Factor 3) school prep
Depending on where you live and
how many other gay families exist
your child's school may or may not be well versed
in the language of queer family.
meet with the school over the summer
about being a gay family as well as any other concerns
bring books
be open
be honest
be available
be funny
I find when you are out there and open
folks really seems more at ease
this is not a secret or taboo
just a family
don't ask - tell them how to refer to your family
the names you use
daddy papa
your child and family deserve to have the right names used
believe me - My daughter has already made a family tree in class
and this is week two!
Factor 4) Child prep
let your child know
if you have not already
that all families are different
and that most families do not have 2 moms or 2 dads
they might get asked questions by other kids
and that's ok
let them know who they can turn to if they need any help
Factor 5) involvement
be involved
once you know you have a school you can trust
you can be involved without micromanaging (clearly my lesson!)
field trips and pta's and bake sales
class parents and library assistants
so often we gay folks we seem to sense other peoples nervousness
and we back off
Factor 6) FUN!
you love your kid
celebrate some time for yourself
let go
watch Ellen
have coffee
and feel assured that they are in a great place
learning wonderful things
and you have 3 hours to breathe

Happy back to school everyone!!

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