They say, “it takes a village to raise a child”. Just wondering if someone can give me directions to this village, so I could drop off my kids… Like most good jokes, there may be a pinch of truth in that funny line. We love our kids, but sometimes parenting can be really difficult.
I believe one of the great tragedies of modern society is that, to a large degree, our sense of community and extended family has been lost. Parenting – a tough gig at the best of times – can seem even more challenging if we feel we are trying to do it on our own.
Each stage of parenting, of course, brings its own challenges. One of my daughters has a new-born -thanks for asking, he is perfect! Spending time with them recently, however, has reminded my wife and I that we have no real desire to go back to dirty nappies, or crying that can’t be reasoned with. The primary school years are, perhaps, the best of all – but I know it doesn’t feel like it at the time. And, of course, adolescence can be really turbulent, as your child navigates the process of growing up, discovering their individual identity and becoming independent of their parents. Throw in social media, alcohol, learning to drive and exploring sexuality, and it can be quite something!
At St Paul’s School, we contend that parenting was never meant to be undertaken alone. Community, Faith and Learning are our core values, and we believe that we can support one another in the process of raising your children. I know many of you have already come to appreciate the role that classroom teachers, tutors, House Leaders, counsellors and coaches play in the life of your child – not just in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also in developing values and virtues and identity.
We also try to offer a range of resources to support you in your parenting adventure. If you haven’t done so before, I encourage you to check out the parent resources page on the School website – https://www.stpauls.qld.edu.au/parent-resources/. There you will find a series of blogs, as well as a link to a vast library of short videos (SchoolTV) on topics including cybersafety, mental health, positive parenting, and more. We also subscribe to a service called Parenting Ideas. You can read their latest short articles, on ‘Supporting a highly sensitive child’ and ‘What to do when life feels overwhelming’ by clicking on the hyperlinks.
Finally, can I invite you to attend an upcoming seminar that is being facilitated by our Parent Connections Supporter Group. Child psychiatrist and parenting expert, Dr Kaylene Henderson, will be speaking on the topic of “Tackling anxiety and building resilience in children aged 2-12”, here at St Paul’s on Tuesday 16th August. Further details available here.
Also, I’d like to share with you a photo of myself with my newest grandson, Samuel, whom I was fortunate to meet when I travelled to Norway these past holidays. What a joy children are.
Executive Director of Faith and Community