As the clock ticks down to the first day “Back to School” it’s time to prep your kids hearts & minds as well as their wardrobes & backpacks. We home-school now, so our talks are more about personal organisation & work habits rather than getting on with the other kids & being polite to the teachers but before we became home schoolers we had many many prep talks over the years.
First there is the “Please don’t say anything embarrassing” talk. This was always for James who has no verbal filter & says whatever comes into his head!! On occasion this can be very funny but when your 7 year old tells his class that this weekend mummy drank too many cans and fell down the stairs it’s not so amusing. And no matter how much you explain that you were drinking diet coke and tripped over James truck at the top of the stairs people always believe what they heard first!
Secondly there is the “It’s good to question but it’s you have to know when is appropriate” talk. This one was always for Josh who once was thrown out of his math class for arguing with the teacher about the solution to a question. It turned out that Josh was right & the teacher was wrong – but no body likes to be proved wrong, loudly, in front of a lot of people, by a 13 year-old.
Thirdly there is the “Nobody likes a no-it-all” chat. This was for Evey who has always been very eloquent and thinks nothing of correcting peoples grammar or their choice of word if it is incorrect. I should point out that not many 4 year-olds use the word nemesis correctly in a conversation, but Evey did and she is very fond of using 23 words when 3 would do. She is also reading at a grade 5 level (she will be going into grade 2 this year), will let you know the Latin or Greek root of a word and generally acts like the average 12 year-old.
Which leads me onto our final pep talk “Never be ashamed of who you are” This was for all of the kids : Gabriel with his autism, James with his autism & cerebral palsy, Joshua with only one working eye, ADD and a knack for computing & Evey who sports a waist length curtain of bright ginger hair is just generally more mature than every other child her age.
We have also had all of the following talks at one time or another:
- You have your own unique strengths and weaknesses – embrace the strengths and work on your weaknesses.
- Never dumb down who you are. Be proud of your sharp mind, your athletic ability, your artistic side. Whatever makes you special – and everyone has something – nurture it, let it grow & be proud of it.
- True friends will always forgive you and will never ask for something in return for their friendship.
- It’s not the number of friends that’s important – it’s the strength of the friendship you have that counts.
- It’s OK to be an introvert. Not everyone likes to be the life & soul of the party. If you are happy on your own, doing your own thing, do it!
- Don’t be forced into situations you know are wrong. No matter how uncomfortable you will feel saying no, it’s nothing to how you will feel when you have done something you know is wrong & then have to face the consequences.
- You will always get found out so it’s better to come clean & admit what you did than to lie & make it worse.
- Nothing you could do is so terrible that it could ever make us stop loving you. Our love & support is unconditional.
We often find watching TV together is a great springboard for discussions & important life lessons. Here are some of our current favourites on Netflix and the lessons we talked about after watching.
- Embrace your individuality.
- Don’t let other kids make you fell bad about being smart
Project Mc2 features four supercool fierce teen spies who show how girls can use science smarts and math problem-solving to save the world – and look cool doing it, without sacrificing their individuality. Total #SmartGirl.
- Work together with others, using your different skills to solve problems.
- The people you least expect to like can turn out to be your friend for life.
DinoTrux has more than meets the tire, er, eye – these prehistoric hybrid dinosaur-construction vehicles team-up to face challanges and solve problems together. Even the most uncommon of pairs, like Ty-Rux and Revvit, form friendships of a lifetime.
- Your actions, behaviours and friends are your choice!
- You are responsible for what you say & do.
The offspring of favourite fairytale characters in Ever After High: Way Too Wonderland show kids that their stories are their own to write – this time at Wonderland High!
Life lessons in other places
Now, your child may have a particular favourite character or you may have a specific life lesson you would like to share with them. If so you are likely to find what you want among these great Netflix titles.
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
THE ADVENTURES OF CHUCK & FRIENDS
THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS
FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN
MASHA AND THE BEAR
THE SKILLS TO THRILL
Disclosure : I am a member of the Netflix Streamteam and as such may receive goods or services as part of this program. However, I am under no obligation to write this post and all opinions are my own.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
Banking With Autism And CIBC – All about an excellent, free life skills app.
Don’t Call Me An Autism Parent – A personal rant I hope you’ll identify with!
Miles before home: Psychology, Fear and Autism – a guest post