The new binders are waiting to be filled. The notebook paper is in a bag from the store by the front door. Crayons, pencils, and even a new pencil sharpener are also in that bag. Text books are on the shelf, they are all standing nice and tall, waiting to be used.
Me? I’m not waiting, not with excitement, anyway. In fact, I have no desire to start the next school year right now.
For my family, a new school year involves a lot more than planning for the kids’ academics and starting new learning adventures.
For my family, a new school year involves one child with such extreme school anxiety that nearly every morning is an emotionally traumatic experience for everyone. He lashes out at others and fights every step of the way.
School is exhausting for him because of the social and emotional expectations. Therefore, it is hard for the rest of us. I feel like I have completed a full week by the time we get to 9am on Monday morning!
So, I am not looking forward to the new school year. Just thinking about what we have been through over the last 6 years and facing it again makes me want to bury my head under the cover of denial!
But, another school year is a must. I have to swallow my anxiety about it, bury it deep in my belly, and face the facts…school starts again in a few weeks.
I have taken a few steps to make facing the inevitable a bit easier.
- Prayer – I am praying diligently, and have been since school ended. I am handing all of our anxiety, mine and D’s, over to God. He is the one who is control of everything, by giving it to Him, I am better able to serve him in all areas of life.
- Planning – While I have not yet assembled the new binders and started putting assignments in the kids’ binders, I have been planning. I have worked on schedules, chore charts, and have been training my children in new chore areas over the summer.
- Prayer – I’ve been praying for God to show me what each child needs from me this school year, especially the one with such extreme anxiety. He is in public school, so I pray that God will give him peace in place of the anxiety.
- Predictability – I have been working towards making our days as predictable as possible. The kids know what to expect during the day, and when they will see things happen. We each have a role to play in the mornings to help make the transitions easier, and we are practicing those roles before we add school back into the mix.
- Prayer – I am praying for God to show me areas of improvement in myself that will make life easier for my children. I am also praying for God to touch my sweet boy who has so much anxiety and create a peace in him that only God can, and that will help us all enjoy the next school year.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
Are you looking forward to the next school year? If not, what is holding you back? Please feel free to share with us your apprehension.
If you are excited, what pointers can you give those of us who are struggling?
How can I pray for you as your family starts a new school year?