ParentingThoughts

Parenting is Hard. You're More Than Capable. We'd Love to Help.

Tag: back to school (page 1 of 2)

Back to Normal?

I’m willing to bet, the topic of conversation in most families and homes right now is, “What is this year going to be like?  What is our new normal?  How will sports, carpool, new schools, transitions, extracurricular’s, etc. change our day to day routine?”  Or maybe for some, it’s “How are we even going to survive this year!?!”

No doubt the start of a new school year brings many different, exciting (and anxiety producing!) opportunities.  So my question to you is –

What will your rhythm/schedule be?

Is it possible to create a rhythm that feels more meaningful than just merely surviving?  If you already feel like you’re giving your all and barely keeping your head above water, I’m hopeful these simple ideas can help you move past survival mode and feel confident in your rhythm for this year.

TELL IT WHERE TO GO

You may have heard the quote that “a budget is telling money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.”  The idea is that money is going to go somewhere and you’ve got to be intentional about telling it where to go.  I think the same is true with our time.  Time is always on the move.  We all feel time starved and we wonder where the time has gone.

My invitation to you, as you start off a new year, is to think through how you can tell time where it will go and how it will be spent.  My friends over at Parent Cue have provided some great resources to help us as parent think through how we can leverage our naturally busy lives, but also find ways to bring meaning into the chaos!  (You can find out more this idea and their app here)

The idea is simple.  Since parents can’t cram anything else into their busy schedules, they help parents use the time they already have.  There are natural times during the daily routine where you, as parents, have opportunity to connect with the heart of your child.  What if we take these times and tell them how they will be used and leverage the natural opportunity they present?

It’s highly likely that if you are a parent of young kids up to middle school, you have these natural parts of your day already in your schedule:

Morning Time
Drive Time
Meal Time
Bed Time

What would it look like for you to start to think about these time as opportunities to connect with the heart of your child?

I imagine those parents with high school students would tell us these times go fast.  That drive time, meal time, and bed time are rhythms that only last so long.  I imagine they would invite us to take advantage of the time while we have it.
(Don’t worry high school parents, Parent Cue has ideas for you as well!)

DON’T LET THEM RIDE THE BUS

Personally, after thinking through this, I realized that I had a great opportunity to spend 15-20 minutes with my child on the way to elementary school each day.  I decided to commit to driving my kids to school (aka not letting them ride the bus everyday, even though they want to!) and using that time intentionally.

Do I plan each morning?  Nope.
Do I know what I’m going to say before I say it?  Sometimes.

I do occasionally make a plan, but more importantly I’ve made the decision to be present and open to connecting with my child.  No phone calls, no worrying about traffic, no radio, sports talk, or podcasts.

The reality is I don’t do much.  My child often recognizes my being present and offers up the topic of conversation that day.  It’s actually fairly easy.    I also believe it’s meaningful.  I recognize that these fleeting moments are building a foundation for a relationship that will hopefully survive adolescence and last into adulthood.  At least that’s the end game!

I know of another middle school family who realized the only chance they had to have a meal together was breakfast, so they carved out some time to eat together in the morning.  It’s a cherished time for them of pep talks for the day, connecting, and being together.

So, as you start this year, what will your rhythm be?  What are some natural times in your day that you can begin to leverage to connect with your child?

I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas!

 

This post may be helpful as you think through this topic – http://www.parentingthoughts.com/2017/03/just-talk-about-it-how-to-have-spiritual-conversations/

See more about the Parent Cue App here:

Back to School Fears

red-school-blur-factory

As another school year begins, I’m aware of how much of my child’s life is outside of my control.  Will they have a good teacher?  How are we going to survive this crazy schedule?  Will they make friends this year?  Will they have a bully or make good choices or… the list can go on and on.

I wanted to share this article below that include 5 simple steps to face your back to school fears.

How I Hope my Back-to-School Faith is Different This Year  
by Kara Powell

A few days ago, I was struck by how Jesus praises the faith of the centurion: “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith” (Matthew 8:10). That affirmation stands in stark contrast to the condemnatory greeting Jesus gives His disciples when they wake him in the middle of a furious storm: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26).

Why did Jesus praise the centurion and condemn the disciples?

After all, the disciples respected Jesus’ power enough to beg him to save them.

And the disciples were experienced fishermen, so this must have been a major storm.

So what did the disciples do wrong?

They were afraid. They panicked. Like the centurion, they knew that Jesus could deliver them, but they weren’t sure he would. So they were still full of fear.

My kids’ back-to-school season kindles new fears in me as a parent.

After the more relaxing pace of summer, I worry about the influx of school stress—ranging from trying to get out the door in the morning to navigating hours of evening homework.

I worry that my kids won’t get the teachers they want. Or that I want for them.

I am afraid that my more introverted child will withdraw into books.

I am afraid that my more extroverted child won’t hit the books enough.

I so want to have the type of faith that Jesus applauds. And I think a gospel-infused response to fear is more than repeatedly telling (or more accurately, berating) myself, “Don’t be afraid, Kara. Trust Jesus.” There has to be a healthy middle ground between denial and despair.

What can we do when we face back-to-school anxieties and fears?

1. Pay attention to them.

Don’t deny them or dwell on them, but acknowledge the fears you have as your family plunges back into the world of school lunches and rushed carpools.

2. See if you can figure out what’s underneath that fear.

What is behind the fear you have about your child, or your family’s schedule? Is it your own feelings of inadequacy, or your own struggles with loneliness?

3. Talk to others about what you’re fearing.

I often forget that I’m not alone in these fears. Most of my friends have their own fears, and even if they aren’t identical to mine, they generally stem from the same roots of shame or inadequacy. Knowing that brings me comfort.

4. Talk with Jesus about them.

Talking with a friend helps. Talking with Jesus helps more. Fears get smaller when I talk with Jesus about them.

5. Talk with Jesus with your kids.

When any of my kids share their concerns about their teacher, homework, or friendships, I try to talk to Jesus aloud right then and there. We pray that God would guide them to the right friends at lunch. We ask God to put them in the classes where they can best be salt and light.

https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/back-to-school-faith

Back to the Grind! A Way to Leverage the Hectic Life of a Parent

One of the reasons I love summer is the opportunity for relationship and quality time as a family.  As the window on summer closes and the school year grind is gearing up, I’ve been thinking about ways to keep a focus on relationships in the midst of the busyness of a school year.  And let’s be honest…

We are busy people.  We have a lot going on.

It’s not just the adults that are busy.  Many kids today are just as busy.  My greatest fear, as a parent, is becoming nothing more than a taxi cab!  As if my only role in life is carting them around to school, sports, friends, and wherever else they think they need to go.

As we gear up for the busyness of the fall, I wanted to share something that I’ve found very helpful.   It’s a chart from the book, Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide….  It gives you a way to think thru your day (maybe in ways you’ve never thought about before) and see that you have many opportunities to come alongside your son or daughter and influence, love, shape, and nurture.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 10.49.03 PM

There are times in the day that can be leveraged for relationship.  Can you imagine the last time in a day you were able to establish values, interpret life, build intimacy, and instill purpose???

Meal time, drive time, bed time, morning time are all great opportunities to parent and influence your child.

Here’s the deal:  it’s not that you are going to have to give an impressive speech at each one of these moments everyday.  That’s simply not realistic!  However, the cumulative effect over time of you leveraging these moments (with different levels of success) over the course of a child’s life will shape that life!

This chart helps us think through how we can still find places to influence and parent in the middle of our shuffling around.  It reminds us to slow down and be intentional.  It might even encourage you to try to create some new habits with your kids so you have the times listed above (Anyone getting their kids to sit at the table with them for dinner these days?)

Summer is almost over and the school year is upon us.  I hope this is a practical tool that you can use to be the parent you want to be to your kids!

Have you ever thought about your day this way? 

How can you take one of these ideas and implement into your routine today?

Which role of the of four listed above do you most often play?   Which do you neglect?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Older posts

© 2017 ParentingThoughts

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: