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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!

Glorified Taxi Cabs

Not sure how we got here, but in our world being “busy” has become a badge of honor.  We are busy people.  We have a lot going on.  And for some strange reason we get a sense of importance from our frantic lives.  The busier we are, the more important we feel.

It’s not just the adults that are busy.  Many kids today are just as busy.  My greatest fear as a young parent watching parents in the stages ahead of me, 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 come to the end of summer and 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….  Basically, it gives you a way to think thru your crazy day and see (maybe in ways you’ve never thought about before) that you have so 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

Meal time, drive time, bed time, morning time are all great opportunities to parent and influence your child.  Times that are a part of everyday, but maybe haven’t been seen as an option for meaningful moments.  How does thinking about each part of the day having certain roles and goals change the way you approach your day?

Going back to my greatest fear, if I follow the ideas here, drive time now because a time to covet and cherish.  Drive time now becomes an opportunity to debrief the day and discuss life together. Drive time is now a moment, in the midst of the chaos that is our lives, where my daughters are stuck with me and have no where to go!  (Of course, today we battle the constant connection to the screen, so it’s not quite the captive audience we desire, but nonetheless…you’re in the same space together!) 

SIDENOTE:  I wrote about an idea for redeeming the dreaded carpool that fits with this here:  http://www.parentingthoughts.com/2014/06/youre-a-better-youth-pastor-than-i-am/

I’ve heard many parents express a desire to have more influence in their kid’s life.  When asked why they think they don’t, there is a host of reasons, but time is usually in the mix.  That’s why I love this chart!  It helps put certain times that can be easily overlooked into perspective.  It 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?)

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?

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!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

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