The beginning of school brings a lot of emotions for kids. Although some are thrilled to be going back among friends and routines, other kids are frantic at the thought of a new adventure. Even the most confident, well-adjusted children can experience some anxiety as a new school year begins. Kids worry about things such as, “What if I get the mean teacher?” or “What if none of my friends are in my class?” I’ve watched my children cycle through the same fears year after year at the start of a new school year.
Did you know overcoming those fears and setting the stage for a great beginning starts before they walk into a school building? How can you help your kids navigate the uncertainty of a new season and leverage every step of the way to point them to the heart of God? Here are a few practical thoughts.
Model the right attitude. Kids will have a better outlook on school if you have a favorable attitude. Admittedly, I don’t like it when they have homework every night, but I’ve found if I complain, so will they. When I speak positively about their school experience, it encourages them to look on the bright side even when they aren’t enjoying it. Attitudes are contagious. What are your children seeing in you?
Scripture for family conversation: “Do everything without complaining or grumbling” (Philippians 2:14).
Cast an exciting vision. For adults, it seems like the days pass at lightning speed. When you’re a kid, the distance between the beginning of each school year and the end feels like an eternity. Consider having a special night to set goals and get the kids excited about a new start. Prepare a fun dinner and initiate a conversation about what you’re looking forward to over the next few months. The idea is to inspire them toward being their best this year.
Scripture for family conversation: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).
Pray for the teachers. Having been a teacher, I know how difficult the job is. It takes time to build relationships between students and teachers. It doesn’t happen immediately. Pray with your children for their teachers. Ask God to give them wisdom, patience, and a love for students. Over the years, I’ve asked them for specific ways to pray for them. They’ll appreciate your interest in supporting what is happening in their world. Make your child’s teachers a permanent item on your prayer list. It’s hard to dislike a teacher you pray for consistently.
Scripture for family conversation: “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:7).
Celebrate successes. Keep the momentum going throughout the year. When your children experience a victory at school, celebrate! Remember to kick up your heels for even the small occurrences—not only the big events like graduation or completing a tough project. How about rejoicing over a mature attitude toward a difficult circumstance, reading a book that wasn’t interesting, or making a new friend? Positive reinforcement along the way continues to inspire kids to continue what they started.
Scripture for family conversation: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).
I love new beginnings. It’s a time to start over and a new opportunity to trust God in a fresh season of life. How are you preparing for this new school year? Take a few moments to prayerfully consider how you can make this fall the best yet!