Starting the School Year Off Right

The school year is officially off and running! Some kids will be going to school for the first time! The first day of school is always a huge milestone for a child and for the parents; especially those entering preschool, kindergarten, middle school or high school. Some kids will be going to a new school and many of the kids will have a new teacher and be in a new classroom filled with new faces. For some, the start of the school year is filled with excitement, as they anticipate wearing their new school clothes, using their backpack full of supplies, seeing old friends, or playing their favorite recess games. For others, they don’t want to even think about school, about waking up early, starting the school year routine, meeting new kids, and having homework. Parents also have a mix of emotions and logistics to juggle as the school year begins. Some are relieved to have order and freedom restored to their weeks, but also will miss the time with their kids as they see how another year has so quickly started again.

Everyone approaches the transition into the school year differently, and it’s important for parents to recognize the complexity of emotions and additional energy required as kids start school again. More than any time in the year, this is when kids will struggle with anxiety. They also may have a hard time balancing all of the emotions that come with a new schedule, a new group of people and new experiences. Starting the school year can be an emotional circus and without the ability to maintain order, things can quickly get out of control.

Here are four practical areas to focus on as your child begins the school year.

  • Pray with your child – Praying with them every morning before school and every night before bed, provides protection, comfort and confidence.

  • Maximize the ZZZZ’s – Provide enough sleep for them to rest and recharge.

  • Balance your family schedule – Saying no to things, allows you to say yes to what’s important.

  • “Name it to tame it” – When they are out of control or shutting down, help your kids acknowledge/name/validate their emotions and help them strategize how to work toward a healthy response.

The Kids Ministry Leaders and I (Brent) are praying and have been praying for you and your kids as they started school last week. The content for this post was inspired by content I have read through a series of books by Daniel J Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D: The Whole-Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline, and The Yes Brain. In the coming weeks, I am looking forward to sharing additional content from Dr. Siegel and Dr. Bryson; content that has been a blessing to my family as well.

For questions, comments or concerns, you can contact Brent Capatch at brent@crossandcrownseattle.com