If you are sending your children back to school this year or if you homeschool your children you have the perfect opportunity to make fresh starts and new relationships. Fall is exciting because of all the new beginnings that happen. We also seem to be more motivated to start new projects and increase our spiritual focus. Here are some tips for success during the fun Fall beginnings:
1. Don't sign up for too many things. Remember how last March you couldn't wait to get your life back? Don't take your life away like that again. Be very picky about what you will sign the family up to do because it will ultimately take time away from the feeling you want at home if you do too much.
2. Keep having mentor sessions. You want to be the biggest help to your child's success as possible. Since that is the case, you need to keep up on what is happening with school, activities, and youth groups. You also need the time to keep focused on strengthening your parent/child relationship. Once a week schedule 15-30 minutes for each child to meet with you and have a proper mentor session. If you need to brush up your mentor session skills go back and read chapter 17 of Parenting A House United. Set goals for all aspects of life, not just school
3. Have daily "mentor minutes" too. At a certain time each day talk to your child about what has happened, socially and academically that day.
4. If your child has a teacher, or advisor of any kind for school or extra groups, get to know them personally. Invest a bit of time into establishing a respectful relationship with them. They should know you and about you. You should offer your services and talents to help them, so that you can call upon them to support your family way of doing things when needed. They should know of any particular concerns you have or issues your child deals with. They should also know how you handle those problems at home. Each adult in charge of a group of people has their own way of disciplining. Their way could go against your way, and your way could sometimes interfere with their way. So, make sure you both know and respect each other's method of parenting. Your teacher may even be grateful to you for insights and useful skills you share. Don't be afraid of assertively offering your understandings about your child. However, be sure to do it kindly and with respect and support. If you establish a great relationship with your child's teacher, your child will have a much more successful year. It is proven. Be sure to keep those lines of communication open throughout the year too. Ultimately, you have the say about your child, because God gave him to you, so you always want to be in a position to advocate best for your child. Good relationships give you that position.
5. Before school starts have a talk with your child about all the things your child wants to accomplish this year. Make a large list of fun books they want to read, and skills they want to improve on. These are things you will do outside of class time to keep learning fun, alive, and successful. These are also opportunities you can have throughout the year to strengthen your parent/child relationship. It's so easy to only focus on school for nine months and forget the goals you have as a family. Make time in your weeks to do the things on this list. List ideas are: build things, experiment with things, create things, organize things, beautify things, read things, learn things, memorize things, perform things, participate in things, give things.
6. Before your child goes back to school, or sometime the first week kneel with your child and pray with them, for them. Tell the Lord about your hopes for your child and the concerns you have. Ask God to strengthen your child in certain ways and to prompt your child to come to you with anything they feel they need to etc. Add God to your relationship. Speak from your heart. Speak deliberately. Call upon the powers of heaven. Make it a tradition. Your child will draw closer to you as you draw closer to God.
May God bless you all this upcoming school year. May you have increased love, organization, and communication in your homes. And, may you all have memorable moments which strengthen your families.
God Bless! ~ Nicholeen