Dear Parents and Guardians,
Sometime ago, there appeared an advertisement in the Positions Vacant column which stated:
Wanted: Telepathy Assistant
You’ll know where to apply
It might be considered that parenting has a close association with the message of the advertisement. Two people have a child, become parents, and somehow or other are supposed to know what to do with the rearing of the child, simply because they have become parents.
All you have to do is bring your child to school to realise that you are not alone in your parenting role. Conversations with other parents will soon confirm that most parents are on a learning curve. However, you can be sure that at some point during a conversation two very important words will be mentioned: “At home . . .” there is no area more important to a child than the home the child shares with their parents. It’s not the size or material comforts that the home provides, it’s the nurturing environment that really matters.
Henri Nouwen has this beautiful image to offer. “What parents can offer is a home, a place that is receptive, but also has safe boundaries within which the children can develop and discover what is helpful and what is harmful. A place where children can ask questions without fear and experiment with life without facing the risk of rejection. A place where they can be encouraged to listen to their inner selves and develop the freedom that gives them the courage to eventually leave their home and travel on.”
During his years of ministry, Christ often made use of the parable as a gentle yet thought-provoking way of teaching people. One of the best-known parables is that of the Prodigal Son, which was often used to illustrate God’s loving care and willingness to forgive.
Nowadays, it could very well be the parable of the most relevance to modern-day parents, for it is a parable of great hope. In the parable, we find a parent brokenhearted to see a child take what he owns and leave home to pursue a lifestyle that is quite the opposite to that of his family and has all the signs of leading to disaster and self-destruction. Even though there is a great disappointment, the parent never gives up hope for the child and is daily ready to accept the child back into the loving care of the family. When the child did actually reach “rock bottom” and all seemed spoiled and lost, the thought of home was the sole ray of hope in an otherwise very dark future.
Events which occur between parents and children need not be as dramatic as the parable. However, “events” do happen quite frequently on a smaller scale and differences can be aired quite strongly. On some occasions, it can be helpful to be partially deaf and blind and very helpful to have a resilient sense of humour. Sometimes we might have to accept what our children have to offer us, take it on board and gently reshape it with their assistance so that the outcome is a positive experience for both parties. The joys of Parenthood!
Lord, I cannot go this road alone
I need to depend on someone, as others depend on me,
I need a sense of someone caring, someone helping, someone sharing the exuberance and joy,
The pain and the humiliation.
I need a friend, just as they need one.
You are it, Lord, my friend.
Help me when the going is rough.
Rejoice with me when I feel I have the world at my feet.
Weep with me when my dreams shatter into tiny bits of crystal.
Above all, be with me when I feel the need to have you close.
Selected students from Year 3 to 6 attended the SSWA Primary Cross Country Carnival today at UWA Sports Park, Mt Claremont. We hope all participants enjoyed participating in this competition, which is a first for Christ the King students. A huge thank you to Mrs McLinden and Miss King for taking the children and organising this wonderful opportunity.
This Monday Years 4-6 students will be learning about the importance of CyberSafety with eSafety Commissioner, Kaylene Kerr. Kaylene will also be presenting a parent workshop Monday evening starting at 6:30 pm. We will text all parents the location when we know the number of participants attending.
A reminder, Friday, 18 August is a Pupil Free Day as all staff will be learning about a social, emotional program called. ‘Highway Heroes’. Smileys will be operating all day for children who attend the OSHC program.
We wish our Year 5 and 6 students the very best as they will be participating in the SNAFL Carnival, where the children will play AFL football, Soccer and Netball. Go CtK!
From My Readings . . .
7 Phrases to avoid when Kids are Anxious
By Michael Grose
Talking with kids when they are anxious can be hard work for parents and teachers. Sometimes just one word out of place or spoken with the wrong tone of voice can get a child’s back up, upset them or make them uncooperative.
Here are some common errors and what to say instead:
- “Build a bridge and get over it!”
The “Come on. Get on with it” approach works with some kids some of the time. We often say this in exasperation, however, if a child is genuinely anxious about a coming event or going into a new situation, or is worried about a looming change, then they need someone to understand their worries and fears. “Ahh! I can see you are worried about this” is a far more effective response. Support starts by recognising anxiety in children and knowing how to respond appropriately so they know that you are taking them seriously.
- “This is not worth worrying about. Stop being so silly!”
Similarly, not taking a child’s fears seriously or, even worse, making light of them, just doesn’t help. Kids need to know somebody understands how they feel.
- “It’ll be right in the morning.”
The ‘get a good night’s sleep’ approach has some merit, particularly when a child is catastrophising or continually revisiting the same worries. Sometimes a child’s worries do seem better after a good night’s sleep. However, to children who genuinely experience anxiety a new day simply offers a new opportunity for feeling overwhelmed by worry and anxiousness. The source of the anxiety needs to be recognised and strategies created for management.
- “Calm down will you!”
Anxiety can often show itself through high emotion and distress. The natural reaction of many well-meaning adults is to quietly ask an emotional child to calm down. However, a distraught child is likely to misinterpret your calmness for not caring. Often adult calmness in the face of a child’s upset just leads to more emotional outbursts. Better to match your level of intensity with your child’s level of emotion and talk them down. Saying, “Yep, I can see you’re upset. That’s understandable.” at the same intensity and volume that your child uses is likely to be far more effective in bringing down his or her emotions.
- “OMG! That is horrible!”
It’s easy for a parent or teacher to take on a child’s anxieties and worries as their own. You can become just as emotional as the child, particularly if an injustice has occurred. Better to take a breath, stand back and be as objective as possible rather than be drawn into the vortex of a child or young person’s worries.
- “You should be worried about that!”
Sometimes we can feed children’s anxieties and worries or even create worries that aren’t there. Be careful not to foist your own anxieties and fears on children and young people.
- “Stop being so naughty. Behave yourself.”
Many children will act out when they are anxious and nervous so it’s quite natural to focus on their poor behaviour without thinking about the reasons behind that behaviour. When you know the triggers for your child’s anxiety then you are better placed to recognise anxiousness and respond appropriately.
Parents and teachers are in the best positions to support children and young people when they are anxious. Support starts by recognising anxiety in children and knowing how to respond appropriately so they know that you are taking them seriously and that you can support them both emotionally and practically to achieve what’s important to them.
Did you Know?
- The infinity sign is called a lemniscate
- House flies have a life span of two weeks
- Gold is about eight times heavier than any other metal on earth
- The human brain stops growing at the age of 18
There are ‘great things’ happening in our school due to the efforts of so many people; seek to be one of those people in the coming week!
Keep smiling and let’s do great things together!