Dear Kids Going Back To School: Don’t Worry What Others Are Wearing, Scoring, Or Talking About

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A letter to my kids on the heels of a new school year:

Don’t worry.

Don’t worry about your teacher not liking you.

Don’t worry about not making friends.

Don’t worry you’ll fail a test (or two, or three).

Don’t worry that your dad or I will be mad if ever you do.

Don’t worry about what other people are



or talking about.

Don’t worry about being confused or fearful to ask questions.

Don’t worry about what other people choose to do at recess.

Don’t worry about standardized tests because you’re not standard; you’re unique and someone you can always be proud of.

Don’t worry about how your uniform makes you look.

Don’t worry about any of that nonsense.

But I’ve likely now got you asking,

‘Then what is it I should worry about?’

I’ll tell you.

Worry about being the nice kid and being unconditionally friendly.

Worry about the kid sitting alone, AND DO NOT LET HIM.

Worry about why your teacher may be feeling down, and work your arse off in class because that kind of hardworking shiitake is sure to bring her spirits up.

Worry if your friends make you happy; if they don’t, you’re probably better off spending less time with them.

Worry that some of the world places a ridiculous amount of importance on tests, scores, and grades and then feel bad for those people, but pat yourself and your family on the back for not being them.

Worry about your effort, enough for it to be motivating, but never to the point of causing yourself unhealthy stress or exhaustion.

Worry that you’ll never know answers if you don’t ask questions.

Worry that too many people worry about things they shouldn’t, and then remind yourself that you are not one of those people

…not one of those students.

You are a student who

tries hard,

works hard,

cares hard,

And doesn’t freak out when things feel hard.

You are a student who

respects teachers,

does what you can to support them,

and encourages others to follow suit.

You are a student

your parents are proud of

and your teachers appreciate.

You are a student who is



and is gonna do great things!

Here’s to the school year ahead,

And here’s to you killin’ it and me cheering you on as you do.



Three kids jumping in air
Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme. You can follow her on Facebook, her website, or podcast. Get her new book, Musings for Mom, here. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Nicole here:

The Book I Wrote Only Made Me $500, But It Taught Me The Most Valuable Lesson Of All

‘Do I send my child to their brick and mortar campus and worry about their physical health EVERY SINGLE DAY?’: Mom shares frustrations for fall school re-openings

‘You’ll never remember these nights. When I lie in bed, listening to you breathe, and question if someone, anyone, could do this better.’: Mom says ‘you’ll never remember these nights, but I will’

‘I send them to school with stains. We eat dinner in front of the TV. We make noise, a lot of it, and we like our pasta best slurped.’: Mom urges ‘dance to the beat of your own family’s drum’

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