Almanac for the New School Year
The Farmers Almanac has been in publication since 1818. In general, it provides long-range weather forecasts, employing old-school methods that existed before the invention of modern radar and satellite imaging. When I was a teen, someone gave me a copy of “Poor Richard’s Almanac”, a volume of predictions and wise sayings written by Benjamin Franklin under a pseudonym.
I don’t presume to be Benjamin Franklin, and I don’t understand all of the atmospheric data weather forecasters use for their predictions, but I wish to make some predictions and offer some advice for parents who will be sending their children off to school in a few days. To borrow from a common “almanac” saying: Take these with “a grain of salt.”
CRAZY LARRY’S ALMANAC – 2019
Children will be influenced and impacted by their school experience. Continue to ground them in who they are and whose they are so they aren’t defined exclusively by others.
Children will have bad days when they are treated unfairly and their self-image is bruised. Listen carefully to their pain, and love them, but try to help them understand the realities of life as they find ways to overcome them.
There is a possibility some children will be bullied or abused by others. If you notice drastic changes in your child’s mood or behavior over an extended period of time, try to get to the bottom of things and seek professional help if necessary.
Every child is different, and while we want children to succeed, there is a distinct possibility they will not fulfill our personal dreams and predictions. Stay loose in your expectations and continue to focus on the fundamentals of character, morality and truth.
Children will like some teachers better than others. While serious mismatches between teaches and students do occur, use less favorable circumstances as an opportunity to strengthen your child’s ability to adapt to different learning environments and to respect authority.
Remember how much you mean to your child. Take time in the midst of a busy school year to eat with them, shop with them, play with them and pray with them.
Big events in the world will affect your child, and though you may try to shield them at home, they will still be exposed to some information at school that will make them afraid. If your child mentions a disheartening news story, ask how it makes him or her feel, and look for ways to offer reassurance.
Your child will be exposed to ideas, words and actions that go against their upbringing. If they share, instead of just saying, “That’s terrible!”, take time to process why the things they have seen and heard bother them.
You may receive a note from a teacher telling you your child has misbehaved or is falling behind. Resist the temptation to rise to their defense and remember they are flawed human beings who need to learn accountability, responsibility and respect.
As your child grows and learns, your role will be increasingly marginalized in his or her eyes. Remember, you will always have a role, and pray for the wisdom to know how to let go while continuing to pour love and truth into your child’s life.
While you are not with your child at school, the Lord is there. As a steward of the life He has placed in your care, trust Him to collaborate with you as your child grows into the purposes He has prepared.
In all of these things, pray. We can’t be everywhere and in everything, but God can. He will continue to guide us all in His truth and lead us to a place where we can share in His blessings.
And there’s nothing crazy about that.