Wow, parents…we have made it to August!!! For that we should be high fiving and patting ourselves on the back. Next up… the fall! The beginning of school year, or not, or yes, or we don’t know yet. While things may still be seemingly out of our control, we first need to remember they are not out of our Father’s control. We can be still in that. And regardless of what your family decides to do, or the district decides, one thing we can control is what and how we communicate things to our kiddos. What are they seeing in us? I have to confess that my kiddos have probably seen a lot more anxiety throughout this pandemic than I would like. I can use this as an opportunity to be open in my communication with them. I can let them know that I am making the daily choice to trust God and choose Faith over Fear.
What is seeping over?
What I have to guard against is allowing any frustration or fear to seep over to them. How we handle our opinion about school this next year will impact how they see it. If we are doing virtual school, how we communicate our feelings about that will help them feel excited and equipped to handle it, or it can make them feel like a burden to us. If your child is going back into a school building, how we communicate about this to them can make or break their success. This is going to continue to be unprecedented. We need to encourage and cheer our kids as they face social distancing and masks at school. This will be a very different experience for them.
Remember the unsung heroes
Our kids, through this, are some of the unsung heroes. Their entire world has changed. They have endured isolation and had to do things they never had to do before. Some of them haven’t been able to celebrate special things such as birthdays, getting their drivers licenses even attending their prom or graduations. One of the ways we as parents can help them is by checking how we are communicating our frustrations to and around our kids. Root for them, cheer them on, but be very careful as their closures impact our work and our world. As parents we should be careful not to make our children feel like a burden.
Working for good
As always make sure that you are taking time to focus on fun as a family. This will be extremely important for your kids, and you, as we enter the school year. Make sure to allow them, and you, time to blow off steam. Allow time to play together as a family. Do something active, go for walks, throw a ball, do an evening picnic on the beach; just make sure to do it. And hold onto Romans 8:28, “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is bigger than all of this!
Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.