Back to school time is here! In some states, children have already returned to classes. While entering a new school year is exciting, it can be also be stressful. Like many Christian parents, you may have concerns when sending your child to a public school for the first time.
Each new school year comes with its own new challenges. For your child, this may mean meeting new teachers and classmates or adjusting to a totally new atmosphere. For children raised in Christian households, going to a public school can be a new revelation. Unlike the friends they may at Church, their new classmates might come with differing values, cultures and religions.
I’m a Christian Are You?
Our world was created by God to be diverse and different is good! While some children may be raised with values that are similar to those of your own family, others may be a stark contrast. In order to prepare your child for these differences, assure them that Jesus is still very much a part of their lives even while they are at school.
Train Up a Child
Public schools can offer many benefits. For some, it is the first test of being introduced to managing life in a secular world.
- Acceptance – Making a child aware of the diversity within the world around them is a very important step in encouraging acceptance. Use this as a teachable moment to also encourage their own commitment to their beliefs. By doing so, it can help them be to be equally respectful of others who do not share the same beliefs.
- Compassion – Children sometimes can be cruel to one another. Learning to understand how to respond to situations such as bullying will be crucial. There may be moments where your child will faced with making decisions on their own as to how to respond to the actions of others. Remember Jesus was bullied too and still maintained a spirit of compassion.
- Perspective – For children who are reared in Christian homes and socialized with other Christian children, it is to believe that everyone shares the same beliefs. Public school is a wonderful introduction to cultivating people skills which will remain with them throughout their lifelong journey. Initially, it will be up to you to help your child address the issues that arise with biblical knowledge.
- This Little Light of Mine – Encourage your child to be a beacon of light. While reciting bible stories may not be endearing to fellow classmates, there will be plenty of opportunities for your child to lead by example. This will also serve as an opportunity to help them identify with their own calling and ability to discern how to minister to others in need.
As a Christian parent, it is important to continually reinforce the teachings of the Bible. By responding to your child’s real-life experiences with Christian examples, you will not only encourage maturity, but you will also help them to grow their own relationship of dependence and faith in Jesus.