Advocating can feel like a scene from a Star Wars movie.

This morning I spent some time with my teenager reconnecting as he attempted to “school me” on how to play the Lego Star Wars Xbox game. We had so much fun as he laughed. He got a kick out of how inept I was at jumping and fighting off the “bad guys”. It was a good time.

Playing the game reminded me of how advocating for your child at school feels sometimes. It’s like an action packed game of twists and turns, successes and failures and a race against the clock. My Lego character occasionally lost its life as we attempted to fight the good fight. Like the Jedi, parents occasionally lose their steam.

What was interesting to me about this game was that my son and I were on the same team.  We were working towards the same outcome and this has similarities to the game of life.  We had to collect coins, and our ultimate goal was to save the princess.

This reminded me of the role of an advocate.  The coins collected are the small wins, with an occasional windfall when my Lego character would uncover an unexpected but huge reward. Occasionally our characters would lose their coins as we jumped from platform to platform. We spent time looking for hidden doorways and trying new strategies to beat the level so we could advance in the game.

While the Lego video game is only a fun way to connect and blow off some steam, the real life game of advocating is serious business.  Much like the video game, as parent advocates we need to take risks and explore new ways of thinking. We need to make the right moves at the right time.

Need some more support? Here are some other blog posts to help you start the conversation and build partnership with your child’s team.