Sink or Swim

Miami is a hot place to live. Nothing can bring relief to the heat in Miami like a swimming pool. Growing up our family would gather together every weekend to enjoy my Tio and Tia’s swimming pool. Our family has many great memoires of all the fun had in their pool. As children it was a place of pure joy, until one day when everything changed. It was a day which my sister still remembers in full detail 24 years later. On this day my Tio was informed that my 6-year-old sister refused to go into the deep end of the pool, because she couldn’t swim. After, hearing she could not swim he felt the need to teach her. But, his teaching method led to much scarring in my sister.  Without warning he grabbed her and threw her into the middle of the deep end. My sister nearly drowned that day. It was a horrible experience, which led to her fearing the deep side of the pool for many years.

Looking at this story it is easy to judgmentally ask, “Why would someone do such a thing?” But the reality is that this is exactly what most parents do with their children when it comes to getting students ready for school. Parents are too often overwhelmed with the task of getting students physically ready, that they disregard helping them prepare emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Many times parents just throw their children into change and are surprised when they sink. Whether your child is entering a new phase of life or a new school you can play a huge roll in helping them be prepared for the deep end. My goal for writing this article is to help you help your children transition into this school year.


The beauty of God is that He labels Himself Father. God shows Himself to be a Father to all those who follow Him. Like a good Father He provides for the physical needs of His people (Matthew 6:31-32). But, He doesn’t stop there. As you study the Bible you will find that God cares about the emotional, spiritual, and social state of His children. As parents we have the ultimate explanation in God for how to take care of children. We can look to God and learn how to handle the difficulties of parenting.  One of the great ways God connects with His children in the Bible is by asking questions. He does not ask questions because He is uneducated or clueless. Rather, God asks His children questions because it shows He values them and it helps them discover answers on their own. You can learn from God’s example as you seek to prepare your child for this school year.

Below you will find questions, which can help you in a conversation with your children about the upcoming school year.  The questions are broken down into three categories: emotional, social, and spiritual. You don’t have to try to do all this in one conversation. I recommend you try to break this up in three conversations.

  • Emotional
    1. What was your happiest moment last year?
    2. What was your saddest moment last year?
    3. What are you most scared of for this year?
    4. How can I help you with these scary things
    5. What would make this the greatest school year ever?
  • Social
    1. What kind of friends do you hope to make this year?
    2. What will you have to do make good friends?
    3. What are some things you would like to do with friends this year?
    4. Is there is anyone you are not excited to see this year?
    5. How can I help you with handling conflict with others?
  • Spiritual
    1. Is there anything you feel God taught you last school year?
    2. How do you plan to grow in your relationship with God this year?
    3. Do you think God wants you to do anything specific this year?
    4. How can I help you do the things God wants you to do?
    5. What can I be praying for you about?