With the start of a new school year, the temptation can be to bury our heads in the sand and stay another hour at the pool. But families that take time to process the start of a new season in life are more prepared. They are also often more relaxed, less stressed, and more connected to each other. For most families, being intentional to set aside time to look at the logistics of starting a new academic year will help reduce anxiety, clarify potential areas for conflict, and allow for collaboration between parents and children as school begins.
A few helpful tips as the school year approaches:
- Schedule regular family meetings, and be consistent in holding them. Family meetings can be incredibly helpful for parents and children to get on the same page and spend time together going over family business. End each family meeting on a positive note: reading a devotional together, sharing compliments, or hopes for the coming week.
- Get open house dates and back-to-school meetings on the calendar well in advance so they don’t come as a surprise. Reach out to any support officials your child will need—school counselors, social workers, support staff—to schedule initial appointments.
- Use individual time with your children to identify goals for the coming year that are not all academically-related. Be sure to identify small, realistic, achievable goals with your child. Spend time talking about potential areas of concern your child may have about the coming year and talk through them.
- As a family, ask the question: what keeps us healthy? Identify ways your family can have fun, be supportive, and establish a home that is open to any and all communication, so each person feels heard and valued for who they are. Having this as a foundation makes it a little easier to discuss difficult topics down the road.
Written by: GROW Staff