As the Academic year draws to an end various farewells and end of year celebrations are underway.

On Friday 16 November the Year 12 Breakfast and Farewell Assembly was a memorable celebration of the achievements of the class of 2018. Staff and students formed a guard of honour for our Year 12 students, spilling out onto the College Oval to say final farewells to friends and family. The final Year 12 Mass and Awards will take place on Thursday 6 December at the College with the Year 12 Graduation Dinner to follow at Parliament House on Friday 7 December.

As we approach Christmas and the festive season, it is a good time to examine the challenges and successes in our personal lives. Parenting is certainly no easy task and constantly has its difficulties as well as its most satisfying rewards. Ensuring close family relations that foster love, understanding, forgiveness, compassion, trust and faith are a constant part of our daily existence. As such I am sharing this article from Parenting Ideas by Michael Grose as I find it relevant and current.

7 ways to help you be on top of your Parenting game

Effective parents equip their children with the skills, know-how and values they need to stay safe and be successful. These seven ideas will help make sure your parenting reflects the times in which we live.

  1. Give the gift of restraint
    At a time when kids receive so much it’s easy to forget that restraint is a virtue. Just because you can afford to give children and young people what they want, doesn’t mean you should. Differentiate between a want and a need, and encourage restraint, goal setting and saving.
  2. Build your developmental knowledge
    Lucky you have two eyes, as you need to keep one parenting eye on meeting kids’ current needs and the other on preparing them for the next stage of development. If starting or leaving secondary school is a year away then start thinking now about how you can make sure your child or young person is ready for the next phase of their life.
  3. Reinforce self-regulation
    A child’s ability to self-regulate behaviour (like the ability to self-soothe and self-occupy) is highly underrated, and doesn’t come naturally to all kids. That’s where consistent parenting using visual management and behavioural consequences comes in.
  4. Practise digital parenting
    The most tech-savvy generation ever raised needs digitally-aware parents. The internet is fun and it’s here to stay, but it can pose risks for some kids. Digital parenting means providing guidelines for safety without limiting children’s opportunity to learn and communicate in the online world. It also requires you to understand the digital world that your kids inhabit.
  5. Develop character strengths in kids
    Recent studies (most notably the work of US based Angela Duckworth) have found that character, not cognitive ability, is the single most reliable determinant of how a person’s life will turn out. The traits associated with success include the inclination to persist at boring or difficult tasks (grit), the ability to delay gratification (self-control) and the ability to follow through with a plan (conscientiousness).
  6. Practise reciprocity
    The best families, like the most meaningful communities, are built around the principle of reciprocity. “We help each other out and we treat each other fairly” builds belonging and forges greater kinship between siblings. Start by getting kids of all ages to help out at home without being paid.
  7. Encourage social risk taking
    One in three children are risk-adverse when it comes to meeting new people and entering new social situations. Social media removes risk for these kids, yet it’s not the answer. Use a variety of strategies ranging from scaffolding (baby steps), practising meeting and speaking to new friends and modelling social risk taking yourself to encourage kids to continually refresh their social networks. Pick one or two of these ideas, or your own parenting idea, to focus on over a month. Once you’ve mastered one idea then move on to another, so that you are constantly improving and being up-to-date as a parent. © 2014 Michael Grose

Students are always reminded to remain focused, think positively and strive for their personal best in all they do. Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

Enjoy these last few weeks of the school year!

Best wishes
Brad Cooney