Back to school blessings
If September brings some kind of new beginning for your family, such as a child starting nursery, school, moving up a class, going to secondary school, college or even university, it can be helpful to know that God is always with us wherever we go. This is a great time to remind our kids of that fact. And make some memories to treasure for years to come. Below we share some ideas for making this time more special and less stressful.
The start of a new term is an opportunity to ask for God’s blessing on us, the places we will go and the people we will meet. School bag blessings are a simple way to do this:
• Look in your child’s school or book bag. Often there is a name tag built in. You can usually take the paper slip out of the tag.
• Write on the back of the paper slip a simple prayer for your child, for example, ‘Dear God, please bless (child’s name) at (nursery/school) this year’, or similar words.
• Replace the card in its holder, and nobody will know the prayer is there except you, your child and God.
• If the bag doesn’t already have a tag, you can simply place a piece of paper in the bag or use a keyring (one of those with a plastic frame and a paper insert) and attach it to the zip.
Plan for each day
Starting a new morning regime can be stressful but planning ahead for the next day is a great way to reduce morning panics and get the day off to a smooth start. So the night before, try doing a few things ahead of time like helping your child pack their bag and laying out their outfit or school uniform can help. Make their packed lunch, if they'll have one, the night before too.
Talk to God
Saying a simple prayer each night at bedtime can help children relax and know God will be with them through everything they'll do the next day. Ask your child if there are any special things happening, whether there is anything they're excited about. If they have any worries or think there might be problems to tackle the next day, let them know they can hand their worries to God, because Jesus promised that everyone who has problems can come to him, and he'll find a way to lighten the burden. You might then like to pray with your child about those things, to say thank you for everything that's going well, and ask for God's help with the challenges.
The following prayer is an example, but simply talking to God like a friend is often the easiest way to pray!
Loving God, thank you for all my friends, and my teachers/carers.
Thank you that I have the chance to learn new things every day.
Please bless everyone at nursery/school/college, and please bless me too.
Help me to know that all day long, whether I'm having fun or whether I'm feeling upset, you're there for me.
Make a memory
Don't forget to leave time on the morning of the first day back to take a photo of them . You could take one at the same time each year, and create an album – pick a background that won’t change, so you can see how they’ve grown!
If you can try to spend some time after school celebrating and finding out about how their day was. As every parent discovers simply asking “how was your day?” tends to be met with “I don’t know” or “can’t remember”. Try asking questions such as “who did you sit with at lunch?” or “What was your favourite part of your day?” Some children find questions more difficult so sometimes statements such as “you look like you’ve had a great day” or “I was thinking about you today while you were in school” can help children open up more.
We would love to see photos of your school bag blessings and we would love to pray for your family in this time of new beginnings and beyond. Please drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can do this.
We will also be starting our children’s activities back in the near future. If you would like to know more about these please email email@example.com.
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels