Five things to remember as your kids start school

Written by Tori Carpenter
Published on September 16, 2022

With the school year kicking off around the country, parents and children are headed into a full-blown busy season that comes with stress, worries, and struggles. As your kids grab their backpacks and rush out the door in the mornings of these first few weeks of school, here are some important things for you, as a parent, to keep in mind:

1. Change is hard– and requires grace!

While having a routine is beneficial in providing consistency and structure, adjusting to a new one is difficult for everyone. In the first few weeks of school, you may need to have a little extra grace… with your kids, your spouse, and even yourself. 

For many families, summer schedules probably looked a little different! You may not have had to get everyone ready and out the door in the early hours of the morning. Getting used to busy mornings, after school activities, and homework again will take its toll on all of you. Your kids are going to have to adjust to spending more time during their day sitting, listening, and engaging their brains. By the time they get home, they will likely be mentally worn out. It’s important that you recognize this and give them a breather. 

This could look calm, like reading a book or drawing; it could look active, like running around outside, climbing a tree, or swinging. This can be anything to give their mind room to decompress. If you start getting frustrated with your child’s sudden grouchiness, remember that this is a big adjustment and will require time for all of you to get back in the swing of things!

2. Independence is a good thing!

Parents can be quite protective of their children, both physically and emotionally– and rightfully so!  You may find yourself worrying as the school year approaches about what your children will experience when they are away from you. This is one of the hardest parts of kids getting older! You can’t be by their side every moment of the day to ensure they don’t get hurt, made fun of, or get their spirits crushed. This is where trust and open communication come in. 

It’s important that you get to know your student’s friends and teachers in order to see who they are surrounding themselves with. Creating an open line of communication with your children about their day, the highs and lows, and how to navigate relationships with others is key to staying aware of what is going on throughout their days. You can’t control your child’s actions, but you can do your best to prepare and encourage them.

3. Set reasonable expectations

You may find yourself reminding your children to “be on your best behavior” and “remember to be kind, calm, use your inside voice, etc…” Even when you know that your kids are truly good kids who are thoughtful, kind-hearted, helpful, and loving, you may still worry that they will do things that make people think otherwise. When this happens, remind yourself that they are just kids and they are going to have moments of impulsion or frustration. They are going to have bad days when they have a negative attitude. Adults have moments like that all the time, so how could we expect our children not to? Of course, parents desire their children to be kind and respectful to their teachers and friends, but you can’t expect perfection. All it will do is set you up for disappointment and set your kids up for a sense of failure.

4. Slow down

With the start of the school year often comes the beginning of sports seasons and the launch of church programs or community groups. Between school, church, and personal activities, our calendars fill up quickly! It’s not uncommon for households to have something going on every night of the week. While many of these activities are positive things that encourage social, physical, or spiritual development, it can get to the point where the busyness causes the family unit to suffer. 

If you find that your family is always stressed, rushing around in the evenings and spending little quality time with each other, you may want to take a step back. Something’s got to give! Prioritize what is truly important to your family. When you are together, be intentional with your time. Have a meaningful conversation around the dinner table, or pray with your kids on the way to school. Make the most of the little moments! Turn the nights you are at home into family game night, movie night, or go out back while the weather is still nice and just play, enjoying each other’s company. Don’t let the simplicity of summer slip away due to fall activities.

5. They are God’s children

This is an overarching fact to keep in mind. Safety is an issue that is on every parent’s heart as the school year begins. Will my child get hurt? Will they be the victim of a senseless act of violence? What would you give for some sort of guarantee that your kids would make it through the day…the week… the year, unharmed? Yet, regardless of the amount of precautions you take, there is always a risk. All you can do is pray. You can look to God, knowing that as much as you love your children, his love for them is even greater.

These first few weeks of the school year may take some getting used to for everyone in the family. Give your kids grace. Encourage boldness and growth. Set reasonable expectations. Slow down and simplify your home life. Most importantly, remember how much you love your kids and trust that they are in God’s hands. This is a wonderful and developmental season in their lives. Enjoy it!

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Tori Carpenter

Tori is a Mom of 3, lover of Jesus, and coffee-addict, residing in Central Oregon. She is a freelance writer, with a passion for encouraging others with her words. Tori desires to create a simple life surrounded by nature, family, board games, and  endless cups of coffee. You can check out more of her writing and the services she offers at:

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