So your kid is back in school, school bells are ringing, and the classroom supplies have been secured. Newness saturates the air as this anticipated season has made its way back to us again… though the autumn leaves haven’t fallen in line with our hopes for fall weather yet. Even the most hesitant of students is looking ahead to this new back-to-school season with expectation.
For many of us—whether parent or child, teacher or student—nervous butterflies and anxious thoughts may mark this time of busyness and uncertainty. We truly don’t know what to expect from this upcoming school year. Though you may not have the answers for what lies ahead, there are some truths you can cling to now that your kid is back in school and a new learning curve has been set for us all.
1. Pray for peace amidst the panic.
It’s easy to worry about all the what ifs that lay before us. We wonder about academic progress, social engagement, and the health of our families and friends. We want stability and security for ourselves and for our loved ones. Yet we are only capable of doing so much. Ask God for peace in the midst of our unknowns, remembering that He knows what we cannot and that He cares for us in the midst of it all.
Though we do have worries—and though this task is difficult to do—we can still cling to the peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7) as we cast our cares upon Jesus (1 Peter 5:7). Remember to take your concerns to Him in prayer, knowing that the Lord is still in control.
2. Let patience epitomize the process.
The complex emotions that we experience as adults are undeniable and oftentimes overwhelming. Our kids are likewise facing many of the same difficult feelings… Yet they are doing so without the same tools in their “emotional toolbox” that we have gained through life experience. As a result, patience must encapsulate the interactions we have with our children as they process their “new normal” as it pertains to more potential changes at school, church, and home.
Our kids may not be sharing the fears and anxieties they are feeling. They may not even know how they are feeling in these moments. Consequently, difficult behaviors may arise in these hard moments. This is where patience and understanding must take place. Listen to your child. Be prepared to gently vocalize your own concerns as you validate theirs. But overall, continue to model for your child what it looks like to trust the Lord and to extend grace to each another, so that doing so will become part of their normal, everyday life, too (Proverbs 22:6).
3. Pursue a partnership with all parties.
You’re not alone in raising your child; others are involved, too—from coaches to teachers to Sunday school leaders. As a result, partnership must take place among all parties involved. Commit to open communication and to praying for those invested in your child’s life. It truly takes a village, and your involvement will not only benefit your child’s growth and development. It may just lead to further gospel conversations taking place, too.
Just as Paul commanded the church in Thessalonica: “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Your concerns for your family are no doubt felt by others who are involved in your child’s life as well. Be an encourager, a communicator, and a team player devoted to prayer.
We are all trying to do our best in these uncertain and always changing times. Now more than ever, we have the opportunity to prioritize and to model prayer, patience, and partnership as we navigate this new school year and the seasons to come. This is a time for connection to take place at school, at home, and in the life of the church.
And while we must continue to hope for the best in these uncertain times, we must also prioritize an enjoyment of this present season as well. After all, our kids are only young once! This is precisely what you must do now that your kid is back in school.