If you are a student mom and dad, you are guaranteed to have some parenting skills which will be useful for your back-to-school journey. In this article, I’m going to show you what are those skills. So stop worrying, you got this!
Going back to school as an adult student, especially as a student mom and dad will be challenging, time-consuming, physically exhausting, and sometimes even mentally draining.
But the experience will not all be negative. There are plenty of advantages of going back to school as an adult, especially as a student mom, and dad.
Most likely, you will have years of working experience in your field under your belt that could help you excel in time management, communication, problem-solving, and stress management skills.
You might also have good critical thinking, good decision-making skills, and the ability to work in a team and perform well under pressure, among many other skills, that you acquired gradually through your years of working experience.
But even if you don’t have years of working experience, because prior to continuing your education, you’ve been a housewife, for example, don’t despair, because raising a child is not an easy task.
A good parent needs to show love, provide support, set limits, and boundaries, teach responsibilities, be a role model for their child (ren), and so on.
The experience of raising a baby until they become a decent human being is a herculean effort that will take years.
So, if in the meantime you decide to go back to school and continue your education while raising your child(ren), you will be surprised to know how much your experience of raising a child(ren) will be beneficial to your back-to-school journey.
Here are five valuable lessons raising a child(ren) help you learn quickly at school:
1. You Will Be a Better Listener (and it will help you go a long way)
Going back to school and continuing your education to a higher level requires a lot of teamwork. You will be required to work on plenty of group projects with your classmates.
Later, you might also start doing some volunteer projects, and internships, become a teaching or lab assistant, and so on.
Those activities will require you to interact with other people, who are completely different than you in terms of age, background, and so on.
You will soon find out that simply being there and being sympathetic helps build trust. You are used to listening to your child(ren), about their needs and wants their stories and worries, and so on.
Therefore, when your groupmate encounters a problem, for example, you know that by not trying to solve the problem for either your child (ren) or your groupmate—but simply by listening, you show them you care.
Paying attention can, in fact, win major points with people. Try to listen to what they’re saying and remember it
When you meet again you can ask them again about the things they were telling you before, how it was if the problem was solved, and so on. They will appreciate and remember your kind attention to their problems
2. You don’t have to be popular to be an effective leader
As a parent, you know very well that whatever happens, you need to be a parent first, and a friend later. Therefore, you might have to make countless unpopular decisions for your children.
They may protest, sulk, and so on, but you didn’t budge, you stand by your decision because you know it’s the right thing to do and the best thing for your child(ren) given the situation.
It’s the same with your classmates. Sometimes you need to lead and make unpopular decisions, and that’s okay.
You try to finish your study with good results and learn as much as possible from the incredible experience, not trying to win a Miss Congeniality contest.
So, you don’t need to feel guilty. When you have the chance to be the project leader, make the best (albeit unpopular) decision based on the greater good of the team. You don’t need to be a best friend and please everybody to get the job done.
3. Be Reachable but Set Some Limits
Your child(ren) knows how much you love them and will do anything for them, but still, they know you have your limits. They know better than to not mess up without any good reason because it will evoke your wrath.
Likewise, because of this experience in your motherhood journey, you will know how to convey the message to your classmates and others who work on projects with you.
They will know they could always count on you, and you would go to the moon and back for them and for the projects you are working on together…within limits.
You will help as much as you could but will not going to be taken for granted. You will help fix a problem but definitely not going to clean up their mess.
You are reachable but you won’t answer your emails or work phone after hours, on the weekends, or on vacation.
Thanks to your parenting experience, you will know how to do all that and make them respect you for that because you made it clear to them that you have a life outside of work.
4. You are a Master of Problem Solving
At home, it’s no doubt that mom usually saves the day, that things will be messy when mom is not around. Can’t find something? Mom knows where it is. Need help with something? Mom will be able to help you.
But that doesn’t mean that you don’t teach your kids responsibilities. After their reach certain age, they will have their own responsibilities and you, as well as your spouse, encourage them to figure out how to manage things or fix their problem without running to you for help every time.
Because of this, at school, even though you are significantly older (and have more experience) than your classmates, you know how to enable your younger peer to make decisions that are best for both your team.
Don’t make them feel like they must come to you every time they need to make a decision, or worse, jump in every decision because you think yours is better or your opinion more matters because you have more experience.
5. You are a Good Negotiator
A couple of years ago, I pursued my dream of going back to school and continuing my education abroad. Back then, my daughter was only four years old.
I remember in one class, we had a business negotiation stimulation, where I won the “award” as the best negotiator.
It was a nice surprise for me because I never thought I had some kind of negotiation skills, let alone crowned as the best among more than 30 other people.
But I guess being a mother, negotiation skill is becoming something quite natural for me since I negotiated a lot with my daughter (she used to say “five more minutes mom”).
Being a parent will sharpen your negotiation skill, no doubt about it. You will know what to say, what to do, and when is the right time to say or do something to win the negotiation.
You’ll know how to spot their weak spot, when to push more or when to back up a little before moving forward again.
A very useful skill set that will be beneficial for you in plenty of different circumstances in your professional life.
6. You Know How to Work Alone and as a Team.
Toddlers are fun to watch in a playgroup because they have their own little world of making friends and playing in parallel.
Some of them, even at that young age, are more likely to be loners or more eager to make friends.
Whether it’s “circle time” or nap time, toddlers are learning how to get along with others and make their way in the world. You will notice this behavior in your child(ren) when they were still toddlers too.
Working and studying environments at school and work are like toddlers in this way, too. There are aspects of the process that require intense teamwork, and there are times when you have to go it alone, making the calls and putting in the added effort by yourself.
Thanks to your parenthood experience, you know very well that you must be versatile in the way you build relationships and add value to an organization.
Some days you have to be a superstar individual contributor, and on others, you have to be a team player.
Use this printable workbook to record your Back to School Research. Don’t make all that Campus Visits, Virtual Tours, Webinars, and Q&A with the school’s admission personnel go to waste !! Write down the information you have collected in this workbook.
Study them later carefully to help you weigh in the pros and cons of each university and decide the best place for you to continue your study.
Over to You…
Making the decision to go back to school as an adult, especially when we are already mom and dad is a big and courageous decision. Therefore, it’s ok to have doubts about whether you will be able to thrive or not.
But actually, being a student mom and dad will provide you with plenty of advantages that could be beneficial and super helpful for your back-to-school journey.
The roller coaster journey of parenthood, trying to raise your child(ren) to be a decent and incredible human being while trying to keep your sanity will make you a better listener. A quality that will take you to go a long way in the school and work environment.
The experience also teaches you that you don’t have to be popular to be an effective leader, that you need to be reachable but at the same time still need to set some limits.
You will also be going to be a master of problem-solving, a good negotiator, and will know how to work alone as well as work in a team.
If you are a mom or dad, and you’ve been wanting to go back to school but have doubts whether or not you will be able to do it or think that you are too old to do it since you are a parent now, please don’t.
Because not only you will thrive in your back-to-school journey, but you will also excel in doing it, thanks to your years of experience as a parent and your crazy amazing parenthood skills.
Hopefully, this post could help erase some doubts you have about going back to school as an adult. What do you think of this post? Do you have anything to say or add?
Share your comment down below, pin this and share them on social media. Let the moms and dads out there know how awesome they are!!!
Thanks so much and till next time.
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