It’s back-to-school time! It’s a time of excitement for our children: the joy of something new, the comfort of a familiar routine, the pride in feeling productive. Children love new supplies, new adventures, and meeting new people.
But with the excitement comes worry. Our children fret over a busier schedule, worry how they might adapt to new teachers, and fear the unknown. As parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches or others who love them, we need to think about how to prepare them. We need to prepare them not only with new school supplies, new clothes and new shoes; we need to prepare our children spiritually. Here are a few things we might consider:
Educate Your Child
Our children look to us for guidance and wisdom. It’s important to provide them with answers. Educate your child on self-esteem, respect for everyone and friendships. Create scenarios where they have to problem solve and resolve a situation when you are not around. Praise them when they show signs of understanding, maturity and responsibility. Educate your child that all individuals are valued and deserving of respect.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Talk To Your Child
Talk to your child about important issues at calm times. Talk to them when things are light-hearted and slower paced. Lecturing them in rushed times never results in a positive outcome. If conversations are held when all is calm, both parties are heard and everyone is valued. These important conversations will never be forgotten.
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
Psalm 37:4, 7
Pray For Your Child
Pray not only for your child but with your child. Explain to them how their worries can be turned into prayer. God is listening. Prayer can relax the heart and calm the spirit. Teach them how to listen so that they can hear God’s message.
“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”
St. John Chrysostom
No matter how much we try to prepare our children, teach them the difference between right and wrong, take them to Church, and show them the way – in the end, it will be up to them to make good choices. Yes, unfortunately they will make mistakes. However, you can help them to learn from their mistakes and understand that mistakes can nurture us to stronger faith. Stand firm in your beliefs. Never stop loving your faith. God will bless you with a bountiful return for your labor.
We pray for all families as they return to the new school year. Please pray for us as well.
St. Francis de Sales Parish Catholic Church
40 Granville St.
Newark, Ohio 43055