A new school year begins, many parents and students are happy, even ecstatic, about the new year. Undoubtedly, somethings are new. Thank God for new starts, new friends, new teachers, new opportunities and new schools.
However, the newness comes with some tremor and nervousness in the hearts of many as they wish that this year will be different, hopefully better. Some students have changed schools, most have changed grades, but there are problems which follow students no matter where we send them to school.
These issues tend to fall under the two big headings of academic or social. Students are often struggling in their academic or social realms. For some families, every year the struggle continues and every year the battles are fought; student vs student, parent vs student, student vs teacher and teacher vs parent.
Battles are a must, I get it. But by now, we should have fought and won some of them already. This year, battles will come, especially for those parents who know their child hates that one class or dislikes that one teacher or is annoyed by that one student.
Battles are ahead and the best wisdom for fighting battles and gaining victory comes in 7 P’s:
- Pursue: Determine in your heart to win this school year. Do whatever it takes morally and spiritually to succeed. Arm yourself and go in pursuit of the things you and your child need for a successful school year. Pursuit is intentional; therefore, target the problem. Begin by finding the root and triggers of common problems your family face during the school year.
- Prepare: Derive a plan to conquer and overthrow the problems. Every circumstance is different, hence develop and discuss a plan with your family. Make it come alive and be a tool for your success.
- Pray: Any plan not buried in prayer will fail in the end. Sometimes after praying God says, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you,” (2 Chron 20: 17). School issues are sometimes out of our reach no matter what we do as parents. Maybe a committed time and place for daily prayer during the school year is all you need to do to gain victory.
- Be present: Be there mentally. Be there to comfort and give encouragement when disappointments and discouragements come. Be light on the salt (criticisms); be liberal with the honey (praises). Be available to listen when your children need to vent.
- Participate: Be there physically. Get involved in the winnings. Sit up the late hours when schoolwork calls for it. Surely you know that visiting the school and speaking with teachers are super important. If you plan to do so, good, but that is not enough. In addition to that, show up when it’s time to show up. Speak up when it’s time to speak up. And yes, sometimes stand down when you need to.
- Persist: When the going gets rough, you may want to settle for less, but persist in your pursuit for victory. You may fall out of routine with the plan but get back on it as soon as you notice a lapse. You may even feel like God is not answering and things are getting worse but persist in prayer. When you don’t feel like participating, project ahead and visualize the benefits of your hard work.
- Parent: Do just that. It means to be firm but loving. Be truthful, but gentle. Be bold, but humble. Be an example. Be the face that your child is looking for in the crowd. Be proud that you are raising a man or woman for the glory of God.
Blessings to you and your children this school year. Go in the strength of the Lord.