School can also teach us life lessons

by Tera Bryant
LGBTQ+ Parent Columnist

With August, comes the joys of back to school. There is just something so enticing about the fresh start of a new school year and the hope and promise it brings.

The new school year often has me contemplating things like what have I learned about learning? Do I communicate to my children in a meaningful way? It's vital you work with your family and their personalities to seek goals to establish a love of learning in your children you are proud of working towards as a family.

And your lessons or goals won't be my lessons, but they might inspire you to plan a little life learning this fall as the room once again fills with students.

I have learned that I’m always going to be learning. Learning takes place in many places outside of the classroom. And if you can impart to your child a variety of different learning experiences, then a natural curiosity about the world can develop into a lifelong love of learning. 

By using family play, activities, and hands-on field trips, you can help them figure out the way things work around them. Trying to incorporate a way of learning as a family can lead to a lifelong love of learning through travel, exploration, the arts, and so very much more.

I have learned that the only person I can control is me, and I am really relearning that one every day. I have become so frustrated at my children for not doing something I asked, or for taking the easy way out of a chore, at times. 

In reality, I see the behavior in my own adult life, when I put off essential duties and tasks to tackle later. When I get upset at them, there's an irritation with myself fueling this feeling. I don't want them to do as I do. I want them to do as I suggest. However, that's not how it works. I try to combat their behavior by sharing how I also struggle. I make sure to give them some positive feedback when they have completed something, even if it isn't how I would do it.

I have learned empathy is the path towards understanding. For example, I don't always understand my son’s taste in music, but I do know my oldest has an ear for sick beats. So, we have had conversations about his music, and some of its negative portrayal of the treatment of women, etc. I want them to know they can then make a choice for themselves as they grow older, as to what they support with their buying power and social media consumption.

They have power in social media’s "Like" button, and they can influence the world in a more positive direction by owning this power as a socially conscious consumer in the digital realm.

In truth, as rainbow parents, you need to know you are amazing, and 100 percent more talented, smart, brave, and patient than your child will probably ever notice. May it help us stay humble!

In truth, a child's praise is rare, short-lived and mostly based on their blood sugar levels. So, you and your partner are going to have to be each other's rocks and remind each other of your value when you struggle on the new math, for example. 

Much love to all rainbow kiddos as we return to another great school year and let us know how you teach your children life lessons and be featured in an upcoming article.

To submit questions, solutions, or other feedback, write to Tera at

Copyright The Gayly. 8/15/2019 @ 7:10 a.m. CST.