7 Tips for a Successful School Year
A new school year can bring stress for kids--new classes, new teachers, new friends, and new challenges. There is also stress for parents getting back into school year routines. Lowering stress levels for parents and kids will not only help your family, but can also help your kids experience a successful school year. Here are seven tips to help in the process:
- Create a Peaceful Home Environment: Home ought to be the one place where kids feel safe, loved, known, and cared for. Even though there will be stress at home from time to time, try to avoid overreacting to circumstances and try not to let your home become a tense, stressful environment. No home is perfect, but when home is peaceful, chances are, kids will do better in school.
- Encourage Your Kids to Regularly Make Time for God: A daily time with God is a great way for kids to refresh their spirit. Model this discipline yourself and take advantage of opportunities for worship at your church.
- Make Physical Needs a Priority: To keep kids healthy and stress at bay, we need to help our kids maintain a balanced physical lifestyle. This means regular exercise, plenty of rest, and a healthy diet. This takes effort, but kids tend to do better in school when their bodies are well-cared for.
- Keep the Safety Net Strong: Strained family relationships affect other areas of kids’ lives – including school performance. Take the lead in your family to make sure relationships become/stay healthy.
- Protect the Balance of Scheduling: School, homework, athletics, hobbies, and church activities all take up significant amounts of a child’s time. Evaluate the effects of these activities, cutting back when needed to protect the most important involvements. Help your kids learn that no one can do everything!
- Keep an Eye on Academics: It’s wise to regularly check how your children are doing academically. Grades are important, but also keep an eye on whether or not they are learning disciplined study habits, turning in assignments on time and other areas where they might need extra help.
Having said this, let me also say that parents may need balance in this area! Many parents hover over their kids, making sure every assignment is completed, on time, and done correctly. This actually hinders our kids’ development toward independence, robbing them of the chance to learn responsibility. Some parents’ self-worth is so wrapped up in their kids school performance that they actually do their kids’ homework for them! “Just say no” to this type of behavior!
- Roll With the Punches!: No young person is exempt from “moments” or “seasons” of difficulty at school. How they learn to respond to hard times is key in whether or not anxiety will wreak havoc in their lives later on. People who enjoy the highest level of contentment in life are those who can stay flexible when the tough times happen – and they are the ones who end up standing when those times have passed. So, teach your kids to roll with the punches: to face difficulties with faith and courage, to get up when they fall, to dust themselves off, to constructively resolve problems, and to move on. These are life lessons they’ll thank you for – for years to come!
Have a great year!