Identity Reminders – Free Printable Lunchbox Notes
Oh the school cafeteria. After hours of sitting still, listening to the teacher, your kids have a much needed break to stuff their faces with either a mostly smashed sandwich, a questionable scoop of main dish, or on Friday – pizza (happy dance). The cafeteria is where food trading puts Wall Street brokers to shame, and the lunch table drama makes The Real Housewives of Wherever look like amateurs. It’s loud, chaotic, and the hour when one’s social strata is most evident.
Food in hand, your kids decide where to sit. In that moment, their sense identity begins to form. Do they sit with the nerds, the jocks, the cool kids, the band kids…alone? It’s more than a place to sit; it’s telling the world (and themselves) who they are. Sit at the right table – find acceptance and friends. Sit at the wrong table – face rejection and ridicule.
How can we help our kids navigate the cafeteria…and their sense of identity?
- Remind your kids who they are. Lunchbox notes are a powerful reminder that they are loved. Although you can’t sit beside them during lunch, you can be the voice in their head. When the lunchroom is trying to tell them who they are; remind them who God has made them to be. Download these free printable lunchbox notes!
- Pray for your kids during lunch. Set a reminder on your Outlook or phone at their lunchtime. Ask God to help your children navigate the social pressures of school. Pray for God to bless your children with friends who influence their life positively. Pray that they are that positive friend to others. Pray the attributes of God over your children: that they believe truth instead of lies, that they forgive those that hurt them, that they choose righteous living.
- Listen. When your kids find the confidence to ask you about a social situation, tread lightly. Don’t bombard them with advice or brush it off to get dinner made. Hand them a spoon to help stir dinner and listen. Ask questions, keep your advice simple, and empathize by telling a related story of your own cafeteria. Your kids want to be heard, to be “normal”, and to be affirmed in their identity.
- Encourage your kids to be includers. Make being an “includer” part of your children’s identities. Encourage them to be they person who looks for others who feel left out or rejected. Help them take their eyes off of their own discomfort or social stress and look for those around them who need a friend.
How else do you affirm your kids identity?