Yesterday was Grandparents’ Day at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy. The whole school was involved. While older students made rosaries, my little ones decorated pretty rosary boxes with colorful foam pieces. The rosaries and boxes will be given to Our Lady of Guadalupe Women’s Group to pass out to those in need.
I’ve done this enough times that I know what to expect. Every child will hit too-high a stress level at some point during the day, whether it’s when their grandparents leave or when they try to nap but are over-tired from the morning.
So here’s what I did:
1. For children whose grandparents were unable to attend, I told the class ahead of time that not everyone could come. Then I asked, Could those who had grandparents share them with the children who didn’t?
2. I had the grandparents leave during recess. No tears!
3. During rest time, of course, some children melted down. That’s why I have stuffed animals to cuddle, stress balls to squeeze and a Palm Cross to hold. Sometimes I sit next to a child’s cot and rub her or his back. Sometimes I rock the child in my rocking chair. I always tell them it’s okay to cry and that everything will be fine. Soon, we have peace!
Special days like Grandparents’ Day are a lot of fun … but can stress students of all ages in sometimes surprising ways. Strategizing ahead helps. But nothing beats being gentle and loving. I’m grateful to my kids over the years for teaching me that!