There is always a flurry of activity before the new school year arrives of getting school supplies, new clothes, and getting everything ready before the first day, but are we preparing the most important thing for the new year…their heart? I think we need to pay even more attention to our children’s heart then the back to school to do’s, because their heart is going to affect how their school year begins and continues. So in the midst of running around I suggest taking a day to just have some quality time and prayer for the new year. Creating a special day with mom can be a fun tradition for you and your children you can do each year. If you have more than one child you may want to do it separately or all together. Choose something you all enjoy doing, maybe it is a picnic, paddle boating, or catching dinner, whatever it is make it relaxing and in a space where you can talk openly.
When we’re preparing our children’s heart for a new year the first thing I think we need to do is find out what’s on their heart. Ask them if they are excited for the new year, what they are most looking forward to, if there is anything they are worried about, what new activities they want to try or old ones they plan to pursue. Letting your kids talk out loud about what is on their mind may bring up issues that you had no idea they were even thinking about. Talk about goals and what they hope to accomplish you’d be surprised how much changes from year to year.
Most importantly spend some time in prayer with them. Taking time to pray with them about the new school year begins it on a positive note and already puts God in the forefront. Especially if they are nervous about a new teacher, or if they are going to a new school, and if there are issues with friendships they are confronting, it is important for them to give it to God in prayer. Asking God to prepare their heart and minds for the new school year is also sending them a message that prayer is essential to preparation for anything in life and you are establishing prayer habits.
Our kids face so many cultural pressures and they are living in a world that is appearing less safe and more uncertain every day, so by arming and empowering them with the power of prayer we are giving them that safety net that only God can provide. As parents it is so important that we pray for our children in all circumstances and that they know we are praying for them and doing our best to prepare their hearts which is what matters most.
Here is what we’ll be praying about for the new school year:
Understanding of the coursework
Good relationships with Anya’s teacher and friends
Guidance in peer situations
A kind and compassionate heart
Balance in school and extracurricular activities
Opportunities to serve