Spring Cleaning for Our Children
Many of us associate spring time with its vibrant colors, pleasant weather, and plentiful sunshine, but forget that it is also a very stressful time for our children. With spring months comes testing season, which is crunch time for students as they prepare for the end of their year and /or graduation. While some students can handle this hectic time, even thriving from it, others may need assistance in getting through the incredibly high expectations placed on them. We, as parents, can provide this assistance by doing ‘spring cleaning’ to alleviate some of the stressors our children have. This is the time of year when our children need us the most. As written in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” During this season, showing a united front with our children is so beneficial. With all of the deadlines and expectations this time of year, we can unknowingly help exacerbate these feelings in our children. Listed below are some of the ways we can help our children and ourselves cope with this stressful time of the year.
This is for you too, mom and dad. Your emotions affect how your children react. Although everyone strives to be their best, not everyone will be the top in their class or the star player and that’s okay. What matters most is that our children reach their highest potential, and it’s essential to understand that everyone’s potential is different. Although it is very easy to get caught up in the game, remind your children that how they play the game is more important the final result. As long as they studied and tried their best, that’s all we can ask for. We, as parents, tend to get lost in the hoopla of getting into the best college, being the top competitor in sports, etc. What we forget is that this unintentional pressure can really affect our children’s psyche. Our children have so many external pressures from school, friends, extracurriculars, and the like. Getting those additional pressures from home can sometimes be too much. Let your home be a safe haven for your children by assuring them that it’s okay to take a minute to themselves, and reminding them that their best effort is enough for you.
2 Peter 1:6 says, “And to knowledge self control; and to self control patience; and to patience godliness.” This is a hard one since we, too, are feeling these pressures. We want our children to do well. We want them to be their best. These are normal ‘wants’, but sometimes these ‘wants’ can get the better of us and cause us to push too hard. If we have a child who is struggling, being bullied, or has learning or other disabilities, this can really put a hamper on them and their learning, so patience is definitely a virtue. Remind your children that good things come to those who wait- as long as they try their best, their time will come.
Communication is key! Children, especially older children, do not always communicate freely, so it is our duty as parents to keep these lines open and continue to do our best to let them know that we are here for them, and are always ready to listen when they want to talk. We also need to continue to remind them of what is most important: it is okay to talk to us about anything. We are not nagging too much or smothering them by providing them with a safe place to talk. On the contrary, they may not respond right away, but children crave limits; they crave our love and concern. They hear us. They may not act on it today, but they are listening.
In conclusion, instead of falling prey to the stressors the spring semester can bring, embrace this season with your child as an opportunity for personal growth. Help clean out some of the anxiety making this spring a stressful one. Hold them tight and let them know they are not alone. They’ve got this, and you will be by their side as they prepare for these transitions in their lives. Until we meet again…. Live, pray and love!
Betsy de Vega is a learning specialist, head of school and founder of KnILE Center. She has worked in education for 25 + years. Her passion is helping children find their love of learning and advocating for families of children with learning concerns. She has two teenage children of her own and has been married to her best friend for 20 years. Learn more about KnILE Center at www.knilecenter.com or call 281.761-6610 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.