Within the next few days most kids will be heading back to school, and we parents are there to help them get ready. We make sure that they begin their back-to-school bedtime several nights before, to avoid the first-day morning shock! Then there are the fun shopping trips to buy new supplies, new clothes, and a new lunch bag. And often, there is a talk about discipline and getting good grades.
But I think that there’s something even more important that we as parents can do to help our kids get ready for a new school year. We can help them plan ahead as to what kind of person they will be. We can sit down as a family and help them set goals. Here are some questions you might ask and some possible goals for your kids to consider.
What kind of student will you be? Some goals to consider: I’ll listen in class rather than daydream, doodle, or pass notes. I’ll turn every assignment in on time. I’ll study for a test before I play. I’ll never cheat. I’ll ask for help if I don’t understand a concept. I’ll always treat my teacher with respect. I’ll take an active part in class and not be the kid with an attitude.
What kind of sportsperson will you be? Some goals to consider: I won’t be a sore loser. I won’t be cocky if I win. I’ll be helpful and use my abilities to help other kids learn. I won’t lose my temper on the court or the field.
What kind of friend will you be? Some goals to consider: I’ll talk to the new kid on the first day and welcome him or her to our school. I won’t be a part of an exclusive group or clique. I’ll make sure that I have friends outside my circle of close friends. I’ll sit by a kid who’s sitting alone at lunch, and play with a kid who’s all alone at recess.
Finally, what kind of son or daughter will you be? And by that, I mean what kind of son or daughter of God. Some goals to consider: I’ll practice WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) when I’m not sure how to handle a situation. I’ll say “no” when someone asks me to do something I know is wrong. I will make my Heavenly Father proud of me!
Help your kids feel independent by letting them know that they’re in charge of their own goals for this school year. They can help to make it their best year yet by planning ahead, or make it possibly a miserable year by just letting things happen. By planning ahead, they can keep from having regrets on the last day of school. So help them set goals, and send them off with confidence and a kiss on the cheek—if they’ll let you!
— Nancy Canwell