Inspiration can be contagious |

Inspiration can be contagious

Evan Zislis
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Summer always goes too fast. The warm, long and lazy days of summer slip away like the sunset over the horizon. In its place, the early morning frost reluctantly welcomes us into the turbulent frenzy of the back-to-school season. For some kids, going back to school is an exciting time of renewed learning, friends and long-awaited extracurricular activities. For others, the summer-to-school transition is marked by despair and a perpetual procrastination that seems to linger straight through winter break.

When I was young, not going back to school was a battle I was determined to win. My parents coercing me out of bed in the morning with noise, light and water torture like a scene from Guantanamo created a certain tension in our family for years. To me it was a conflict between good and evil, defiance and tyranny, liberty and oppression. It was not about my zest for the daily clash as much as it was about being uninspired by school. Let’s face it, I hated school. I was an awful student and ruthlessly berated by playground bullies. Uninspired, I became a clown in the classroom and a withdrawn television addict at home.

We all need inspiration to help motivate us up and out of bed in the morning. Taking time to consciously identify what inspires you will help your kids understand how to be inspired on their own. Whether starting a new exercise routine, learning a new language, preparing a creative meal, or rearranging the furniture in your home, inspiration in your life will help create a culture of self-perpetuating motivation for your entire family. Getting involved in discovering daily doses of inspiration will help teach your kids how to look for it and put it into context for themselves.

Connecting with a few teachers, staying active in club activities, joining school sports teams and learning an instrument can all be life-saving strategies for kids who feel dispassionate about school. Allowing detached youth to isolate themselves through relentless television, video games or drugs will draw kids further away from the true life experiences that will help them discover who they are in the world and what talents, interests and contributions they can make to their families and their communities.

Simply dealing with the day-to-day grind of the back-to-school blues is no way to live.

Creatively finding ways to become inspired will help you wake up each morning feeling refreshed, invigorated and eager to start your day. The young people in your family need this modeled to them because inspired parents are infectious to their kids. With a little inspiration at home, going back to school will create endless opportunities for discussion about what inspires them. Staying involved with your youth’s concerns will help them understand that you understand their frustrations.

Keeping them motivated to work through the back-to-school season starts with inspiring them at home.

For more information on how to inspire your family, visit YouthZone online at or call us at 945-9300.

Evan Zislis is YouthZone’s upvalley division manager.

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