Listening to your parents...

I hope it isn’t only my children who have always been resistant to hearing sage advice from their mother. They were quite happy to accept the suggestions of other relatives and the parents of their friends, but when their own mother offered wise counsel, it was ignored and often treated with derision. After all, what would I know about study strategies? Or organisational skills? Or wellbeing? Clearly decades of working successfully with significant numbers of students counted for nothing. My attempts to share with my children any wisdom regarding personal wellbeing were similarly discounted.

Suspecting that this may also be the case in other families, we have planned some exciting initiatives and visiting speakers who will present to different age groups. They may well tell your children the sorts of things that you have been pointing out for ages, but perhaps your kids will also be more likely to listen to someone else.

On April 15th, we have engaged with Glen Gerryn who will be speaking to boys in Years 10 to 12 about being a mensch/good man and what it means to be honourable. On that same day, ‘We are Women’ will present to Years 7 and 8 together, then to girls in Years 9 to 12, on the subject of healthy relationships (focusing on friendships with the younger girls and romantic relationships and keeping safe with the older girls). We are in the throes of also planning a presentation on mental health/resilience by ‘Outside the Locker Room’ for the Year 7 to 9 boys on that day. Cherie Birch (Director of Student Development and Wellbeing has already led two ‘Prevention of Bullying’ workshops for students in Years 8 and 9, as a proactive measure. They workshopped what it means to be a good friend and she addressed very clearly the differences between conflict and bullying.

Year 11 peer support with Year 7 students is ongoing and a ‘Dr Yes’ incursion took place in the High School this week – it’s a program with an excellent reputation in which numbers of young medical students from UWA and Curtin University visit schools to talk to groups of students about healthy relationships and keeping yourself safe.

In terms of continued Primary School work on social issues, Debbie Bolton has arranged for a Telethon-sponsored program called “Understanding Bullying” to be presented to all students in age-appropriate groupings. They will be delivering to the Primary School on 27th March, with separate presentations planned for Years 1 and 2 together, 3 and 4 together and 5 & 6 together.

I hope that these events cause discussion that spills over into your home and perhaps even reinforces the wellbeing messages that you deliver as parents. We are very pleased to be able to invite parents to a brief presentation by Glen Gerryn on Monday 15 April at 3.30pm in the Breckler Troy Hall. He was so well-received last year a number of impressed parents asked us to arrange this session. Please support our efforts by attending if you can.

Julie Harris