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New backpack? Check. Notebook with lined paper? Check. Pens and pencils? Check. New lunchbox? Check. Talk with your child about setting goals for the new school year? Well….

As parents we plan for the first days and weeks of school with lists and trips to the store. But how often do we sit and talk with our kids about what kind of school year they hope to have? Probably not often enough. But if we can make it an enjoyable experience, our kids will only benefit from thinking ahead and planning to make this their best year yet.

So why not go on a picnic, go out for ice cream, or go sit out on the lawn with your kids and ask them some questions, such as:

Ask Them Some Questions

1. “What kind of student do you want to be this year?” Discuss with your kids their study habit goals. Will he do his homework before playing his favorite video game? Will she study for a test with her phone in another room? And what about cheating? Is it ok to do it in a pinch, or should good grades be earned?

2. “What kind of sportsmanship do you want to show?” Discuss what attitude she will have if her team wins a game. Talk about how he will react if his team losses. And what will they do when they get “ticked-off” during a game? What are some helpful ways to handle the stress and pressure?

3. “What kind of friend do you want to be?” Discuss the benefits of having many friends instead of being part of a clique. Encourage your kids to invite the loner to sit with them at lunch, or to choose that one kid who never gets asked to play at recess.

4. “What kind of Christian do you want to be?” Maybe a good motto for their school year would be WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? Then when your kids are faced with peer pressure and temptations, they can ask themselves, “What would Jesus do if He faced this problem?” Once they answer that, they can then be like Jesus.

Your child may or may not want to discuss these issues, but bringing them up will show your son or daughter that you care about them and the choices they will make this school year. Even if they won’t open up much, you have the opportunity to plant these ideas in their head and heart. Then when you wave goodbye on that first day of school, your checklist will be complete.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines


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