WT 069: How Do I Calm Back-to-School Nerves?
Somehow summer slipped by and we're once again fast-approaching a new school year. The new school year brings a fresh start, but it can also bring some nervous feelings too (both for child and mom!). How do you work through it? Karen discusses on today's podcast.
Question 1: Karen, my oldest is going to kindergarten and riding the bus alone. He is excited but I am a nervous wreck about it. My mind goes to all the what-ifs. How do I calm my nerves?
Karen's Answer: Matthew 6: 26-27 “Look at the birds of the air ; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
God has your child! Don’t worry about him, enjoy the summer before school starts and don’t fret. Living life always thinking about the “What if’s” Is not living free, it’s living bound up. That is no good for you or your child. We can let our minds get away with us, so we have to rein it in.
Practice a little self talk everyday. Write out Matthew 6:26 and remind yourself daily how much “more” God loves you and your child and how He will provide.
Question 2: Karen, we are switching school districts this year and my son is in middle school. He is playing it cool but I know that he is nervous about being the new kid. How can I encourage him and get him genuinely excited for the change?
Karen's Answer: I think you can encourage him, but I wouldn’t try to hard to get him genuinely excited about it. First off, he’s a boy and boys handle things very differently than girls. Taylor never appreciated me trying to “inspire” him to get excited about things. But, secondly it’s middle school and that is a tough age. I would acknowledge that you know it will be hard, let him know you are there if he needs you and let him know you are praying for him that the change will end up being a good thing. Then, I would leave it alone.
Start praying now for your son, pray he finds a good friend group, he likes his teachers and that God will give you wisdom as you enter these middle school years.
Question 3: My daughter is about to start her senior year of high school. She is very active and a social butterfly who is always pretty busy with sports, school play, youth group or friends. She’s also relatively independent and doesn’t ask much of me in terms of time – I am really proud of how she manages everything. But she is a perpetual procrastinator when it comes to, what she calls “boring stuff.” I know this will be a big year for college applications and discussions about future, should I prepare to step in at all if she’s filling her plate with fun stuff and not taking care of what’s necessary?
Karen's Answer: I would remind her, ask her if she needs help with any of it. If she says no, then I would let her run with it. Before you step away I would explain, that you are leaving it in her capable hands, so if she misses deadlines then she will have to suffer the consequences. This is an important year, but it also will help her in the future, at college, when she is REALLY on her own. You want her to build her muscles so to speak while she is still under your roof, but you have to give her some space.
All my children were different, Kelsey being the oldest I barely did anything. She was on top of it. Emily, was a different story, we were constantly reminding her, but in the end she did it on her own. Taylor was more like Kelsey and Abby was in the middle. It’s hard to let go as a mom, but I would rather them fail under my roof while I’m still there to teach them how to restart.
Sit down and talk through the timeline of Senior year with your daughter, then take three big steps back and let her do it.
Question 4: Karen, as my son gets ready for 6th grade, he has informed me that it’s the year everyone is supposed to get a cell phone. He said that he’s one of the last kids who don’t have one already. My son is a really good kid, and I have no trust issues with him.. but having his own cell phone feels like a completely new territory. If we decide to give him a cell phone, what kinds of restrictions should we put in place? Are there any kinds of parental control apps that you know of? If he was a junior or senior in high school, I would be okay with giving him a little space, but 6th grade just seems so young to have personal access to the internet.
Karen's Answer: I would go with your gut. If you are not ready for him to have a cell phone then don’t do it. As a mom of a boy that has already gone through middle and high school I would suggest not giving him a smart phone. There are too many temptations with pornography. I’m not trying to scare you, but you need to be aware.
Our children were the last of their friends to get a phone, and Abby was a sophomore in high school before she got a smartphone. She said everyone was laughing at her, but she survived.
Talk to your son and tell him why you don’t feel like he needs a phone, and ask him if he would be willing to have a regular phone and not a smart phone.
Moms, we know your time is precious (especially during the start of a new school year!) so thanks for spending it with us! If you have a question, we want to hear it!