Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Back to School Excitement?
As I talk to most children and teenagers, they're not to thrilled about going back to school. But as I talk to most parents, they are pumped--as this Staples commercial above will help you see. But why is this? Why are we as parents so excited for our children to go back to school?
School as we have it here in America--at least as far as I know--is a relatively new invention in the history of humanity. Rarely before has the training and education of young people been so universally handed over to a class of people outside the home. It used to be that children would receive instruction in language, math, social skills, religion, etc. from their parents. Families would spend a majority of their days together, and--gasp--they would actually get along, stay sane, and enjoy being together.
But in our culture, we are way to quick to get annoyed with our children, and we long for the days where we can ship them back to school. How sad this is?! As a new father, I am starting to understand how this could be a tempting thought. Sure, it's easy to get frustrated by the time, attention, aggravation, and potential arguments that children being home during the summer brings. They take up more of our time. They demand our attention. They complain. They fight. They keep us from doing everything we want to do. They require us to get babysitters while we go to work.
BUT, they are also gifts from God. They are treasures for us to enjoy and to teach. And I honestly am saddened when parents are thrilled to send their children back off to school where other people can "deal with them." We should not be frolicking down aisles of Staples singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Rather, we should be spending as much time with our kids as we can before school starts back. We should go places, take walks, go swimming, have important conversations, read together, and worship together. Then, just like our kids, maybe we'd start to look forward to the last day of school with much more anticipation than we do the first!