Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi nui atawhai.
ERO review, roll audit, practice external exams, Parent Teacher Interviews, Tournament Week, Year 13 Retreat as well as scheduled classroom learning – welcome back to some of the things that are scheduled to take place in Term 3! So, I trust that you have all been able to use the term break to relax with friends and family.
During the break, I was reading a short article by Louisa Woods, a guidance counsellor, sharing how people react when she tells them what she does for a living – ‘like my work is in the same category as a snake wrangler or lion tamer, but dealing with a more mysterious species of wild animal, capricious and with bitey tendencies’.
As you can see by the short list of some of the things that are happening this Term, it is little wonder that our students can seem overwhelmed some times and they can definitely test our patience as they wrangle with all that is expected of them. Woods expresses how she looks positively on their seemingly contradictory behaviour:
‘I admire their willingness to push boundaries, to pole-vault right over them when the fancy takes them. We can all learn from their need to question and question and then question again, to seek honest answers but to let the rational go and emotion rule when need be. I love being witness to the quest for self, watching as a young person finds a place to stand in the world, a place that they will defend to the hilt and then promptly abandon in favour of a more appropriate spot. I am awed by their vulnerability as they contend with all of this growth and change, the ravages of hormones and heartbreak, and the constant pinging of text messages. They are so in need of support and genuine interest and yet strive to be so independent. They long to be seen as an individual and yet strive to be part of the group. They are contrary creatures, and that contrariness, it’s fascinating. And yes, they’re moody, and uncommunicative, and can be self-obsessed and inward looking. Undeniably angsty and dramatic at times. And then, just to mix things up a bit, the next day they’re chatty and excitable and filled with the joy of life’.
Wood’s advice to parents of teenagers: ‘It’s harder to be a teenager today than ever before. So how can you as a parent help? By continuing to show up and support your teen, even when they seem hellbent on pushing you away’.