Back-to-school time can feel overwhelming for everyone—kids, parents, teachers. And it’s easy for our spiritual lives to get lost in the scuffle of new clothes, misplaced notebooks, and sports schedules. Here are some ways to make sure that you keep God in the mix:
- Start your day together with prayer. Yes, mornings are hectic, but remember that the crazier they feel, the more you need prayer! It doesn’t have to be long—just a simple thoughtful Our Father is fine—but it does have to be consistent. You model behavior for your children, so make sure that they see that God isn’t just honored on Sundays and at mealtimes.
- Tuck a written prayer into your child’s lunchbox. Even if they don’t pray it, they’ll see it, and be reminded of your love for them—and God’s, too.
- Have conversations with your child about bullying. This is an ongoing problem in every school. Children who understand what true friendship is are less likely to engage in it. And if you emphasize to your child that they are worthwhile in God’s eyes it will help them assert their worth at school, too.
- Just before bedtime, you might want to do this simple adaptation of the Examen with your child:
- Recall that you are in the presence of God
- Look over the events of the day with gratitude for the day’s gifts
- Invite the Holy Spirit to help you and your child evaluate actions and attitudes with honesty and patience
- Review the day, looking at the times when Jesus helped with your child’s decisions and other times when perhaps your child might have turned to him.
- Have a heart-to-heart talk with Jesus, sharing your thoughts on your actions, attitudes, feelings and interactions.
As long as you keep God in the back-to-school equation, you’ll find that Christ’s calming spirit can coexist with any chaos the world can throw at you!