As you know by now, No Regrets Parenting is a time management blueprint for parents who struggle under the weight of each day’s responsibilities with their kids, yet shudder at the thought of their kids growing up too fast.
So much of kids’ middle, tween, and teen years are spent in school that as parents we depend on our schools for real-time input into our kids’ lives outside of home. Teachers, of course, are vital in this feedback process, and you have read in this blog about my commitment to PTAs and other parent-teacher organizations. But often overlooked in the school equation are the unsung heroes of students’ health, our school nurses. Of course, they treat the minor physical ailments kids develop during school hours, and they advise on vaccines, antibiotics, and other medicines. In extreme cases, of course, school nurses may notice signs of physical abuse of kids. But school nurses are also crucial sentinels in monitoring kids’ mental and emotional well-being. Along with teachers, school nurses may notice the subtle manifestations of kids’ stress, depression, and anxiety.
School nurses may be the first to notice, and the ones courageous enough to tell us, that what we thought were “adult” problems and stress in our home have affected our kids.
We have built-in opportunities to get to know and to express our gratitude to our kids’ teachers: back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences, teacher appreciation days. But when’s the last time you told your school nurse thanks for being the eyes and ears for our kids’ health?
Have a good story about a teacher or school nurse who made a big difference in your family’s life, and helped you be a better No Regrets Parent? Share it in the comments box below. If the box isn’t there, click on the title of this blog post and it will magically appear.