Are Your Children Ready to Return to School?
1 In just a few more weeks, Christian youths will be returning to school. This may be with a measure of excitement and possibly certain apprehension. These inner feelings are created by the anticipated opportunities and challenges. Some youths will be meeting new classmates and teachers. Christian youths also realize that each new school year is accompanied by tests of their faith, integrity, and love for Jehovah. Are you young ones in the congregation ready to return to school? How can you parents fortify your children for the tests ahead?
USE THE SCHOOL BROCHURE
2 In 1983 the School brochure was provided especially for Christian parents and their school-age children. It is designed to help clearly present to teachers and administrators the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses as these relate to certain school activities. It also provides guidelines as to the unified position of Jehovah’s Witnesses with respect to moral conduct.
3 For many youths this brochure has proved to be a real protection. For example, a Witness parent learned that sex education lectures were to be given to the students by people known to be of loose morals. With the brochure in hand, the parent was able to discuss her Scriptural objections and succeeded in having appropriate changes made in her daughter’s classes.
4 Before school begins, parents can fortify the minds and hearts of their children by taking time to refresh their memories on the contents of the brochure. With due consideration to the children’s particular age, grade, and school, parents can emphasize choice points from the brochure that might be especially helpful during the year. (Prov. 14:15; 22:3) Rehearse with your child situations that might confront him, and demonstrate how the published material can be of benefit in ‘making straight paths for his feet.’—Heb. 12:13.
5 Parents can do much to help their children “make a defense before everyone” who might question them as to their personal views and hopes. (1 Pet. 3:15) In some cases parents may choose to talk personally with the teacher. Some Christian parents schedule periodic visits to the school, as this can help to create a good relationship between them and the teachers. Such personal interest also strengthens the relationship between parent and child. Some parents have heeded the suggestion to take time even to sit in on the classroom discussions where this is allowed. Sometimes this gives the parent a real feel for the environment and unique day-to-day pressures our children face.—1 Pet. 3:8.
BE A WITNESS EVERY DAY
6 A young Witness in Colorado would ask his teacher to help him with difficult words he found when reading Examining the Scriptures booklet each day. One day he noticed that his booklet was missing. He later found out that his teacher had “borrowed” it for the day when she left school early because of sickness. She did not want to miss reading the text. This led to providing her with her own copy of Examining the Scriptures.
7 It is true that the new school year brings moments of apprehension and anxiety. However, a positive view along with diligent preparation will help both parents and youths to ‘brace up their minds for activity’ to Jehovah’s praise during the coming school year.—1 Pet. 1:13.