Once again, it’s back to school season. After the long, hot days of summer that feel like they might never end, a new school year can feel like a welcome relief.
But, it can also introduce a whole lot of overwhelm.
From figuring out schedules and sports practices to shopping for school clothes and buying supplies, a new school year can bring with it a seemingly endless list of to-do’s.
Even if you’re a homeschool family, there’s figuring out lesson plans and resetting to new rhythms.
But in all the excitement, it can be easy to forget that there should also be a spiritual aspect to this new season. And every new year is a chance to commit our kid’s friendships, education, hobbies, and struggles to God in prayer.
Asking God to Cover Our Kids
As parents, we’re charged with covering our kids as they go out of the house.
Regardless of how it may feel, we don’t actually own our kids – we are stewarding them. And though we can do our best to pick the right schools and encourage them to spend their time with good people, we can’t protect them from everything. This can be hard to accept!
But when we as parents show our kids that prayer is an important part of every new season, we help to lay a foundation for the year to come.
For your family that may look like praying together at the breakfast table every morning, or sharing prayer requests on the car ride to school.
It’s worth establishing habits and rhythms that set a standard for your family – even if there’s sighing and eye rolls along the way. Take the time to pray for your kids, for their experiences, their teachers, and what they will learn.
When we welcome God into each new season, it helps to remind our kids (and ourselves) that He is Lord over it all, and nothing happens outside the realm of His control.
Why we pray our kids into the school year
This year, we’ve committed to praying our kids into the school year. We also want to be intentional about inviting God prayer into every situation that each of our 7 kids will face.
Here are a few reasons why we all should pray our kids into the school year.
1. To help them lay their own foundation
Parents, we are in a specific position on purpose. We are to be the guardians and the guides for our children. Everything that they learn from us at home becomes a part of their foundation – for better or for worse.
Mamas, you have to know your family foundation. Let your kids know what you believe and what you expect. It’s your responsibility as a parent to let your family know what you all are going out into the world to do.
2. To encourage them set goals
I love starting a new school year by encouraging the kids set goals. Whether it’s not procrastinating on homework or reading their Bible each morning, goals help them be held accountable. Otherwise, you can go an entire school year and not improve on certain things.
It’s important to set goals, and we want to establish that with our children. We want them to not be afraid to set high goals of achievement, to take a risk and try to achieve something that might seem improbable. Ask your child to set a goal for the year and write them down. Each of these goals are specific ways that you can be praying for each other throughout the year.
3. To help them learn to persevere through trials.
During the year ahead, our kids will face hard times. That’s a guarantee. And when that happens, we want them to know how to persevere through whatever difficulties they face. There’s always this kind of fear that we have as human beings of the unknown, even though we know inherently well that things will be okay. God will show up like He always has.
So when things go wrong, it’s a chance to remind us and our kids that we need God in our situations. In those fearful times when we don’t know what’s going to happen, that’s often where we grow the most.
4. To celebrate what God is doing.
We sometimes get so bogged down in trying to find the problems and not have problems, that we forget to celebrate the little victories in every area of our lives. God is working on our behalf all the time, but we rarely celebrate this fact!
There are little victories like getting through a school day and getting through a hard week. Those are victories. Being able to celebrate those and let your kids know that they are doing well is important. So don’t forget to pause, have a family movie night, hang out at a new park on the weekend, or find little ways to celebrate what God is doing.
I’m praying that this school year will be a time of joy and spiritual growth for you and your kids – even in the midst of the daily challenges. With God’s help, this year can be a success!
Kirsten Watson is a mother of seven and the wife of communicator and retired NFL player, Benjamin Watson. After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in marketing and Spanish, Kirsten worked for a Fortune 500 company and later in the nonprofit sector, aspiring to one day run her own company. Currently, she serves as the CEO of a family of nine. Alongside Benjamin, she co-founded The Watson Seven Foundation, and together they co-host “Why or Why Not with the Watsons”.