Getting ready for back to school in a typical year often brings up all kinds of emotions, and you know this isn’t a typical year.
It brings up emotions not just for you but for your kids … and often they’re big emotions too! As a parent, it can be hard to know how to prepare your kids for the school year ahead. Especially when you’re not really sure what to expect yourself.
How do you prepare your child to face the beginning of the school year?
Here’s the good news. There are truths that you can speak into your kid’s lives that will remain true even as circumstances change for them. Statements that can change their outlook, equip them to be resilient, and even help them to know that they’re not alone in what they’re going through. Equip your kids with hope and purpose.
We wanted to give you the words to share with your kids to set them up well spiritually and emotionally as they head back to school.
Here are 4 statements that you can share with your kids on the first day, the first week, or the first month to help them start well. You could even think of them like a pep-talk of sorts and repeat them out loud as you eat breakfast together, wait for the bus, or walk to school.
1. God put you in the class you’re in for a reason.
He has a specific assignment for you – someone to love, someone to be kind to, someone to befriend. Whether their classroom is 25 kids at school or their 2 siblings at home, God has put your child in the class they are in for a reason. God wants to use your kids to show others His love. Reminding your kids to look out for ways to show love and be kind does something unique in them. It helps them to see their siblings, their friends, and their classmates the way God sees them – unique, special, and wonderfully made. It helps your kids to befriend others with love and kindness.
2. Someone in your class is more nervous than you.
Find the one who is new or needs a new friend, and be kind to them. Going into a new place, with new people, and new routines can be tough – especially for our kids. It feels like everyone else knows everyone and everyone else knows what to do. The thing is, everyone has been new at some point. Even your child can likely think of a time when they were new and didn’t know anyone, but someone came and offered to sit beside them or play a game with them. So, let’s encourage our kids to be the helping hand or kind smile to the new kid in class or in your neighborhood. Let’s teach our kids what it’s like to be for someone who feels like life is against them.
3. Make sure your teacher is grateful you’re in their class.
When the teacher asks your child to do something, do they respond with an eye roll or with a polite response? Do they offer to help the teacher clean up before lunch break, or do they run off to keep up with their friends? Helping your child to understand the impact they can make on their teacher by being respectful, being kind, and being helpful can help their teacher to see something different in your child. You want to teach your kids to honour their teachers and be an example of Jesus to those around them, even those in charge. Your child has the chance to show their teacher a different kind of student, one who loves Jesus and in turn, loves others as Jesus loves them.
4. If you ever feel sad, remember that God loves you like crazy. And so do we.
Although this is one of the simplest things to say, but one of the hardest things to remember. In a season where things look different, and new changes are taking place all the time, it can be a little overwhelming. For your kids, this can lead to feeling sad, worried, or even anxious. For them to hear you tell them that God loves them and that you love them too, can be the thing that changes their whole day. Kids need to know that they are fully known and fully loved.
This Fall, as you lead your families through this next transition of getting back into the school routine, we want you to know we’re cheering for you and we’re in your corner. As you are praying for a smooth transition for your kids, we are praying for a smooth transition for you.