It is that time again! Summertime has come to a close and it is all about back to school. The seasons of life keep rolling through our lives, one running into the next. I have put together some suggestions for you to consider as you get started with the new school year, new teachers, and new lessons to be learned.
To begin with create daily routines to bring a sense of calm and peace to your home and to fend off uncertainty. When kids (and us) know what is coming next, we shape a more tranquil environment that benefits everyone.
Make agreements with your kids on the things that are important for your family. An AGREEMENT is something we can create when different opinions, ideas, and intentions are present as opposed to an unspoken expectation. Things like homework, chores, conflict, extracurricular activities, church, playtime, rest, SCREEN TIME, and family time are priorities. Give your teens a voice in coming up with the agreement.
Model well. When we sign up to be parents, we sign up to be leaders. You may not consider yourself a leader, but you are. Think about how you can receive support from other wise moms that have “been there, done that” so you too can walk with insight, intelligence, and understanding within the confines of your home.
Have at least one “sacred” time of coming together to enjoy a meal each day. Make it a habit. Protect the time. Stick to it. Sitting down and eating as a family gives you the opportunity to ask those open-ended questions and sets a healthy pattern of discussion and engagement with each other. This will build the value of relationships. Children who have meals with their parents are better adjusted emotionally, have more positive eating habits, and even learn etiquette along the way.
Here are some suggestions for those open-ended questions in conversation.
Tell me more …
What do you mean …
How did that feel …
What else …
If you want to keep the dialogue moving along don’t ask questions that support a yes or no answer. Think it through in advance and give it some time for your kids to adjust to a new way of conversing at mealtime. Invite them to conceive their own set of questions to ask the family.
Finally, figure out a system to file both paper and digital forms for quick reference. Or better yet for the older kids have them design their own system. It is never too early to teach your kids organization and responsibility to keep track of their “stuff.” However, follow up and check in often to make sure it all gets completed at the appropriate time. Don’t expect perfection but by High School they should be moving away from dependence on mama and toward dependence on God and ownership of their life.
What’s one thing you can choose to implement this week? How likely is it that you will do it?
Branding + Design by Mollie K Creative Co.
Copyright 2021 Patti Reed
Brand Images by Beth Currey