If you ask my son he will tell you that he’s really looking forward to the Fall. He says he loves everything about the fall including the weather, changing leaves, start of the holiday season and the knowledge that Winter is around the corner (his favorite season is Winter). He said the only thing he can do without when it comes to the Fall is school. He hates school. I don’t mean he dislikes school, I mean he literally HATES school.
Our son was born 9 weeks premature. When he was younger my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher forewarned us NOT to put him into school when he was old enough. She said to wait another year. She said it was better for him to be one of the older kids in his grade then one of the younger ones.
When our son was 3 1/2 he seemed ready for pre-K so we enrolled him. He didn’t turn 4 until the end of September. He did OK that year but his teacher worried about his social skills (or lack of them). In Kindergarten he did just OK. He seemed to struggle a lot with some areas. We assumed it had to to with some motor skills “issues’ he was still having due to his prematurity.
By the time our son was in first grade we realized just how right our daughter’s Kindergarten teacher was. Our son struggled to keep up with his peers. He struggled with his class work and didn’t have any friends except for the girl who sat next to him and treated him like her “little brother” even though they were the same age.
In first grade they were going to leave him back and let him repeat first grade over again. My husband and I were relieved because we knew that is where he was suppose to be. We were all for it as was his teacher. It was better to do it while he was young rather when he was older so that the kids wouldn’t pick on him about being left back.
The school on the other hand had other ideas and let him pass on to second grade. They felt he would be able to catch up and then keep up with his work. He never did.
Our son is now going into 7th grade. He struggles every day with the classwork. Its hard for him to “grasp” a lot of the things being taught to him. He also has zero social skills and has no friends. He has a few kids he talks to in school but no real friends. He never gets invited to birthday parties or to hang out with his classmates after school. His cell phone only has our phone number, his sister, grandparents and a cousin who lives in PA. It breaks my heart every time I think about all of this.
As a result of all of this our son has no confidence or self-esteem. He automatically assumes he’s going to be bad in everything he tries and fail at everything. He doesn’t apply himself or put his heart into anything because he automatically assumes the worst.
I try and do what I can to boost his confidence and make him feel better about himself and school. I try and show him how proud we are when he brings home a good grade, and make him realize it’s not the “end of the world” if he gets a bad grade. I have been known to leave notes in his lunch box. Sometimes they are just jokes or silly things, other times they are words of encouragement to help him feel better about himself and his abilities.
Hallmark truly understands that sometimes kids need a little “boost” of confidence and encouragement. They now carry a line of greeting cards geared specifically towards children which feature encouraging words. They also help to reinforce how proud you are of them when they do good work. They even include a line of cards for ‘tweens and teens that relate specifically to peer pressure and friendships. I have a 14 year old daughter. I know all about the trials and tribulations of peer relationships and friendships. Girls are especially fickle when it comes to friends.
Hallmark also carries a package of pre-written Lunchbox Notes that you can tuck into your child’s lunchbox or inside one of their notebooks or folders. There are 50 notes per package and they cover a variety of situations, from expressing just how much you love to them to letting them know how very proud you are of all their hard work. I really enjoy these Lunchbox Notes because they are small in size so that you don’t have to worry about your child’s peers seeing them and perhaps making fun of your child because Mommy sent him/her a note. You know how some children can be so cruel. With these Lunchbox Notes you can still offer your child some extra love and encouragement without others knowing about it. They are the ideal size to tuck into anything, even their coat pocket.
Also available at Hallmark are a variety of Recordable Storybooks. We have a couple of these books and we love them! You, your spouse, a grandparent or anyone special to a child can record themselves reading a storybook. When the child goes to read the book they will also hear that special person reading the book to them. This is great not only for children who can’t read and those learning to read but also an older child who just wants the comfort of hearing someone special’s voice.
You can read my previous reviews of the Recordable Storybook here, http://www.shescribes.com/2010/12/treasured-holiday-keepsakes-from-hallmark.html (towards the bottom of the post), http://www.shescribes.com/2009/12/cherish-special-holiday-memories-with.html (older post – the font is a bit messed up).
All of these products would make the perfect addition to your back-to-school shopping lists. Pick up a package of the Lunchbox Notes and a few of the Hallmark Kid cards to keep on hand. Younger children will appreciate the wonderful Recordable Storybooks.
Information about these products and more, as well as a Hallmark store locator, can be found by visiting www.Hallmark.com.
Hallmark would love to offer a lucky winner a Back-to-School Confidence Care Package which will include as assortment of Hallmark Kid cards, Lunchbox Notes and a delightful Recordable Storybook. Thank you Hallmark!
To enter please comment on how you help encourage or child or boost their confidence.
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This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on August 19, 2011 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply with a name and mailing address (no PO Box). Failure to do so will result in a new winner will be chosen in their place.
Other fun giveaways can be found on the right side bar under “Win It”.
*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own. Hallmark will be providing the prize package.