How to Start the School Year Right

by Head of School Muddy Waters

Welcome back to our Pike community! I always look forward to summer and the break in the routine it offers, but I also look forward to the start of the school year. There is a special energy that grows as we all reconnect with old friends and make new ones at the beginning of each year. I hope your summers were filled with time for friends, family, and fun. I can’t wait for all of the growth that the start of a new school year represents. 

I want to put in a plug for my twitter account (@muddyatpike) for that is where I post articles about education, parenting, and children that I come across.  I recently posted “Happier Parents Do These 10 Things” by KJ Dell’Antonia, a former New York Times editor, and current parent. Often, when I see such articles, I prepare myself to be talked down to or to be told how easy this parenting journey is.  Ms. Dell’Antonia avoids those traps and acknowledges that the path may be rocky and that there is no one right path. That being said, she does give some tips that I think are helpful. I will not try to summarize the whole article here as I encourage you to read it for yourself. However, I did find the last two points she made particularly interesting.

The first was “You don’t have to get it right every time.  You’re not even supposed to. No one does. You’ll get another chance tomorrow.”  As a parent of three grown children, I can tell you I am not sure I got it right even most of the time, and yet those three children have grown into responsible adults of whom I am very proud. Remember, most decisions you make are not “do or die” but rather, it is the core values that you demonstrate in your daily life that help build a strong foundation for your children.

The second point is “Soak up the good.”  Dell’Antonia cites research that says our brains are wired to “put more weight on negative experiences than positive ones.” She encourages us to fight that tendency by looking for the joy that can come from small moments like the beaming face of a child after a successful somersault or when that child can read to you for the first time. I am finding that much of the happiness I was always told I would feel as a grandparent comes from the ability to savor that enjoyment without the anxiety I remember as a new parent.

I look forward to seeing you on campus as we embark on the next leg of our journey with the positive energy that flows through our community.

The Pike School is an independent, coed, day school for Pre-K through ninth grade in Andover, Massachusetts. Visit to learn more about Pike – and visit our blog for more thought leadership. To learn more about admission to The Pike School, visit our Admission page

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