The “Back-To-School” season is underway, and its launch is sure to cause quite a stir in the hearts and minds of little brown girls everywhere. For our girls, starting or returning to school is a rite of passage that makes them feel a step closer to becoming the woman that they would like to be. Some of these precious ones will embrace the school year with excitement, wonder, and confidence. But not all of them will have that resolve, for many different reasons. Those who don’t have that self-assurance and may be feeling a little uneasy about what the new school year will hold for them will need the women in their lives even more so during the early transitions of this educational term. Your support, optimism, and reassuring words could be a major determining factor in her ability to perform academically, how well she adjusts, and even how she handles some of the stressors that come with school. All of our little brown girls need to know that there are people who believe in them and are there to help them in any way possible, whether their academic endeavors are at the preschool level or whether they are competing in the global marketplace of ideas. We need to be their cheerleaders and give them a solid “home base” to champion the best school year ever!
Here are some basics to consider for promoting a healthy attitude in your little honey about school, learning, and reaching for her goals:
1. Get her equipped to achieve. School is never totally about making sure that every item on the supply list is purchased or that our favorite brown girls are picture-perfect in their outfits. The hope for each new school year should be that each one of them gets the tools that they need from their education, and from those who care about them. This will foster a love of learning that will lead to their long-term success. The ideals that we instill in our sweet young ladies about education will be integral to how they embrace learning.
2. Make the focus of your school preparation plan about HER and not just about the “lists.” Get her involved in selecting items that fit her personality such as backpack style or type of sneakers. Also, the two of you can go online to browse some of the natural hair care blogs for children where she can pick out some cute new styles. She will likely feel more confident, more prepared, and will appreciate that you have considered her thoughts and likes. Knowing you’re with her and that you believe in her means so much!
3. Address her social concerns with love. Your sweet girl may be a little different from you in how she interacts socially. She may have some fears about new friendships and how best to approach others. Try not to be dismissive when it comes to her feelings. Instead, talk to her about them and let her vent. Then, coach her on ways that she can overcome some of her fears while being sure to always help her to understand that she, too, has many things to offer others. Friendship is a two-way situation. She could learn from others and enjoy their company, but she can also be a positive influence in their lives. Those who are adept at making friends should also be coached in terms of maintaining those friendships, which may require them to be more willing to compromise and share.
4. Challenge her educationally along with her teacher. Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Help her to see that there are educational opportunities all around us every day. Take what she learns at school a step further at home and in time, your little sweetie will surely start to recognize these wonderful chances to explore, discover, and learn on her own! For the little ones who need additional educational help, be prepared to help them early on so that they don’t fall too far behind. We all learn differently, and your brown girl may need you to find resources, outside of the classroom, that are more aligned with her individual needs. Don’t be embarrassed if she is not “picking up” as quickly as others or as you had hoped. Instead, find other ways for her to learn and always reinforce the skills that she has accomplished.
A successful school year is one that blends consistent support, realistic expectations, plenty of occasions for learning, and an abundance of love. Mix these up right and your little honey could be on her way to educational and lifelong success!