Granted, it’s been a few weeks since school started but with the transition of going back to school and football, etc, it’s taken me a while to adjust. But, back in the middle of August when I was doing my tax-free weekend school shopping for five kids, I got to thinking.
Somewhere between the pencils, binders and uniform clothes, I started to wonder . . .were my kids really equipped to go back to school? Have I given them what they need?
So I pondered what “supplies” I truly thought they needed–what virtues and attitudes they needed most and with their help came up with a few reminders for them:
Sometimes they wonder what the point is. Why do they have to learn these things, Why does it matter? What in the world does this have to do with the rest of their lives and their future? I remind them that the subjects are not the only thing they are learning. Many of these experiences are helping to form them. And, being a student is what God has called them to for now. So they need to be the best student they can, and learn to be patient with where they are in life.
School gets tough. Days get long. Subjects get hard. Friends can be mean. Some days we don’t feel our best. Still, we get up every day and move ahead. Maybe every day isn’t fun. Maybe we are not where we want to be. We persevere through until we get to those bright days.
PPI or Presumed Positive Intention
Without fail, every time there’s been a very troublesome kid in my kids’ class, he had a difficult family situation. I use this example again and again to remind my kids that there is always something more to a kid’s behavior or to the things a person might do that hurt, offend or just annoy us. Sometimes, we just attribute the wrong motivation to someone’s words or actions. We can assume that they had the worst possible intention but I try to remind my kids to do just the opposite. Assume they had the best possible intention. Look beyond just the action and assume the best, not the worst.
Be kind to everyone. You don’t have to be everyone’s friend but be kind. Don’t gang up; don’t make fun. Sometimes kids get their feelings hurt, even when other kids think they are doing it all in good-natured fun. Be aware of that. Befriend the new kid and the weird kid.
Just like when we are dealing with our brothers and sisters, remember, you’re not blameless. Maybe, they started it, but your job is to examine yourself for your part in the incident. Same at school. Did a teacher yell at you unjustly? Were your friends being unfair? See if you can identify anything at all that you could’ve done different to help the situation. Furthermore, what can you do to diffuse a situation instead of making it worse?
So that’s what I supplied my kids with. Pens, pencils, glue sticks, white dress socks and some important reminders. Does it stick? Who knows. But hopefully when they encounter those difficult situations and difficult days, it will give them a boost!
Holy Spirit, give us the gifts to practice these virtues!