With the beginning of a new school year always comes a busy schedule. I was thinking about how to change my dreaded outlook of the new school year by wondering what I could eliminate from our schedule. Since our youngest daughter is beginning her senior year of high school there are many things on the calendar already that I can’t change.

I am a strong believer in evaluating our commitments regularly and considering if we need to change/add/delete any of them. For example, my husband was asked recently to consider another commitment at church  The program is a valuable ministry within our church. But when he asked my opinion of it, we began listing  his other commitments for the Fall. Adding one more thing to his agenda didn’t seem like a good idea.

As we look at ways to help our stepchildren have a successful school year, we need to consider our schedules. Our family must be our primary ministry. There are a lot of wonderful activities to be involved in, but when we have children at home, they must be our first priority.

I am reminded of some wise words from Christian psychologist, Dr. James Dobson. “I wish parents wouldn’t commit all of their energy to the business of living, holding nothing in reserve for the challenge of raising their kids. The routine stresses of raising an adolescent can be overwhelming. Someone within the family must reserve the time and energy to cope with parenting challenges.”

Our role as stepparents is even more demanding, mentally and emotionally, than that of a biological parent,  If we give all of our energy to outside commitments and demanding careers, what do we draw from to deal with the inevitable crises and unexpected irritants that will surely come our way?

As a new school year begins, it’s a perfect time to evaluate our schedule. If we’re intentional with our  commitments, we’ll have more time and energy for our stepparenting roles, allowing us the chance to help our stepchildren achieve greater success at school.


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