By KATE WALSH SOUCHERAY
If you have a child who has a difficulty with relationships or a special learning complication, such as ADHD, ADD, Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, as the school year draws to a close, you will evaluate your child’s progress very differently than other parents.
You will look not so much to the grades your child achieved as to the quality of the interactions he or she experienced throughout the year. You will find yourself being thankful for things such as a teacher who went out of their way and impacted your child’s life in a positive way, or an office worker or school nurse who took a little extra time to show your child patience and concern. Perhaps your special person will be the library aide, the lunchroom attendant or the playground moderator.
Whomever it was that reached out to your child and softened the year for them, in a way most other parents would never consider significant, you realize this person made the school year bearable for your child. And if they did it for your child, they also did it for you and for your family.
Such people often go unnoticed at the conclusion of the year. As you wrap up the final weeks of your child’s experience in whatever grade he or she is completing, think about someone who has touched your child’s life in a special way and reach out to them with gratitude. Of course, we know they interacted with your child out of love and true concern for them, not because they thought they would be recognized for their efforts. These people simply love children and love being around and with them, day after day, in an often thankless way.
Perhaps you could send a note of gratitude and a small gift or plant to accompany your letter. You could deliver it yourself, as you share what their personal interaction and concern meant to your child, and to you. Taking this bit of time to extend your appreciation will likely mean so much to them, as it will undoubtedly be a surprise, which will make it so much the better.
Kate Walsh Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Stillwater. She works at Christian Heart Counseling at 275 Third Street South and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-439-2059 ext. 718.