Love In A Big World: Finish Strong

May 12th, 2017

My kids and I are counting down the days to summer; aren’t you? This is a bittersweet time of year. Although we’re excited about a more relaxed schedule (especially in the mornings), my kids have mixed feelings about leaving the teachers, friends and routine which are so familiar. They are battling anxiety. So what can we do to help our kids — and ourselves — through this time of transition?

Even though it is not an easy thing to do, let’s help our kids work through their thoughts and feelings about the changes they are experiencing. Change is often perceived as loss. Journaling or reminiscing about the year’s favorite memories may be helpful. Be prepared for the possibility of mood swings and unexplainable tears. Sometimes kids don’t know how to articulate what they are feeling inside. They will probably need extra grace and cuddles. (No one in my house is ever too big to curl up on the couch with mama to eat popcorn and watch a movie!)

It’s important to keep the routine as close to normal as the school year winds down. Our kids still need to attend their classes and complete their assignments. The learning doesn’t stop just because the weather is warmer. Encouraging a hunger for knowledge and tenacity to commitments will shape them into lifelong learners, people who learn from all the experiences of life, in and out of school.

As for relationships, changes are inevitable. Your kids may not see some teachers and friends again. Remind them that some people are in our lives for a reason, some for a season and others for a lifetime. Each person they have encountered this school year has given part of themselves through a lesson…a smile…a conversation. Encourage your kids to express their thanks with notes, flowers, hugs and high fives.

Also, give your kids a sneak peek of what summer holds. Show them the calendar and talk about upcoming activities and adventures. Invite them to share their own suggestions for family fun. Often having something to look forward to helps us deal with our sadness.

Years ago I heard a teacher say, “Finish strong.” Never before had I heard someone admonish me to do that. I think I’ve figured out what he meant. Like a sprinter, we must run through the finish line with strength and speed, not slowing down or giving up because we have almost reached our goal. Let’s all end well.

comments powered by Disqus