So, everyone goes back to school next week, and while I really DO love summer, I have to admit I am ready for the structure that comes with the school year routine. And, as we prepare our 3 kids to go back to school—with new lunch boxes, backpacks and clothes, I am also thinking about how to encourage them to start a new school year with the right focus.
I can’t take credit for this family talk idea because I have “borrowed” it from another parent I admire (actually, I do that a lot!) Just as we did last year, I plan for us to sit down with our kids before next Thursday and we will share a few HOPES that we have for them this coming school year.
- I want to remind them that it’s not important to us that they are known for getting the highest grades in the class, but we do hope they are known for being the kindest kids in their class.
- I want them to know that it doesn’t matter most to us if they get picked first for the basketball game at recess, but we do hope they are first to invite a new kid to join the game.
- I want to emphasize that we won’t mind if they lose or forget some school supplies, but we do hope they will share what they have with others who need it.
- I want them to remember that while we are proud of their achievements, we will be the MOST PROUD when they speak up to defend someone who is bullied, when they take time to talk to someone who needs a friend and when they are quick to help a student who has special needs.
My kids are growing and they aren’t perfect, so I know they won’t get this right every day (just as I don’t), but it is my prayer that God will keep teaching our family to be on the lookout for those who need some extra kindness, friendship or help—this year at school and wherever we go.