Raising Christian Kids – In Public School
Being Present, Balanced and Involved
Many families are left with only one choice when it comes to schooling for their children…and that is public school. As Christians we worry about our children, their influences and the matters of the heart. Homeschooling is great for some families, and Christian school is an option for even fewer – with public schooling being the most commonly used way to educate children in the U.S. can we really do so and raise Christian kids at the same time? The answer is yes, but it is not easy.
Be Present, Balanced and Involved in your Kids Lives…Both as School and at Home
If both parents work outside of the home, it can feel like a nearly impossible challenge to be present for your kids while they are at school. Field trips, classroom parties, PTO, in class volunteers, it all requires a day off work, and well…time! But whether or not you work outside the home, inside the home, or tend to younger kids while the big ones are in school, there is a way to be present, even if you can’t be present.
5 Ways to be Present, Balance and Involved:
- Have an ongoing dialogue and relationship with your child’s teacher(s). It is so easy nowadays to do so. You can email the teacher and find out how your child is doing, tell them what is happening at home and just ask if there is anything you should be concerned about. Having a relationship with the teacher allows you to be involved in the classroom, even if you can’t be there. It also lets your child know, that you know what is going on and nothing can get past you!
- Be the hangout house. It is not easy, it is exhausting at times, and quite honestly it is a chore when you are exhausted after a long week, but it is so worth it. Be the house the kids want to go to. Be the parent who says yes to having friends over and be there and be involved and interested in not only your child’s life, but that of their friends too. As a Christian we are to be little missionaries where we are….if you are a mom this is your greatest mission field. Your children and their friends are who God has put in your life, and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to be Christ-like and love them, even when it’s exhausting.
- Bedtime is golden….don’t miss it. The older kids get, the less important bedtime seems. But in reality its the perfect time to talk, pray, do a devotion and just find out what is going on in their lives. Devotions can feel daunting when you are just so ready to plop down in front of the TV and veg. But even if you just pray with them, and talk about the day, or read a Bible verse, it is a way to keep God in their minds and hearts and it will be the last thing they think about before they close their eyes.
- Go to church and be involved. Having a church where your kids can thrive is vital. Not only is it a place to go on Sunday mornings, but the more they are there, the more they get involved and have friends there, the more they get exposed to God’s word, His ways and His truths. Even if your own church doesn’t have Awana, American Heritage Girls, Trail Life, Upwards Sports, or VBS, there are other churches around that probably do. Getting kids to think in terms of missions and focusing on helping others, is an enormous gift. They become less self-centered, better friends, better students. They can begin to get a sense of purpose in life.
- Rules, expectations and guidelines. Just like at your job, having rules and expectations for your children, can give them a good life barometer for things that happen to them or around them. Be specific about certain things and give them reasons why this is for their best. Example: no sex before marriage, no dating until 16, no electronics in bed or after 9:00pm. Whatever your rules or expectations are, make them known.