The Pressure Cooker

Don’t get me wrong. Academic pressure is nothing new. Case in point: when I was in third grade my teacher called my parents in and told them they had to ease up on me.

They had no idea what the teacher was talking about, because they weren’t putting any pressure on me at all. It was all my own eight-year-old self.

Let’s face it. Once you move past the protected bubble of blocks and naptime and graham crackers that is preschool and kindergarten, school is HARD. It is serious work. Perhaps even more difficult than so-called “grown-up jobs,” where you are at least allowed to stand up and stretch whenever you please.

But school is also fun. The new friends, unique experiences and even–maybe especially–the learning. So how do we give our children a love of school and learning that will take them through their ABCs, SATs and beyond?

On our homepage this week, Sharon Duke Estroff offers age-old parenting lessons for a new school year, showing us how we can help our children succeed academically without driving them–or ourselves–crazy. And reminding us that:

…even if you conclude that your child is not a budding Albert Einstein, you’re in good company. At the end of the day most of our kids are, well, regular old kids–good at some things, not so good at others. And counting on us to love and support them in all their wonderfully regular-kid glory.

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