Yesterday, I had the pleasure of accompanying my six-year-old on her class trip to the Philadelphia Zoo. I was excited to go – not to see the animals – but to spend time with her before her Kindergarten year comes to a close.
It’s important to be an involved parent as your child progresses through the elementary school years. I want to be there for my kids when they experience life’s ups and downs, wins and defeats.
As we walked through the zoo yesterday, I took pictures of my daughter and her friends and few shots of the animals.
If you can take time off from work, go on the class trips. You will get a chance to get to know the other parents better, and see your child interacting with his or her classmates. Capture the moments on camera – when your child is older, he or she can look back through the photos and remember their experience at the time.
Are you part of your child’s school advisory committee or board? Support and involvement with the school is important, but the timing should be right.
Evaluate what you can take on by asking yourself some questions:
- Can I allot the amount of time needed for this volunteer role? If you have kids in difference schools, it might make more sense to wait until the kids are at the same grade school and there is less shuttling around.
- Will my job allow me flexibility to take on this role? If you are under pressure to find a job or new clients, you may want to hold off on a volunteer role and wait until your work situation is more secure.
- What is your spouse or partner’s schedule like? If he or she is working late every night or travels long distance frequently, now may not be a good time to take on a new volunteer role.
- Do you have family in the area who can babysit or an adequate support system? If you have immediate family in the area who can help with drop-offs, pick-ups or after school care, count your blessings.
If you find yourself taking on too many school responsibilities, you will end up feeling exhausted and stressed. It’s better to hold off on volunteering your time than to join a board or committee and then have to back out from lack of time or stress.
Enjoy class trips with your child or children – time is fleeting and you’ll want your kids to remember you as being involved.