Message from the Principal

I find I mark much of my life by milestones or events. And, over the course of the last few weeks I have had a number of occasions where I have reflected on the past. Many of these reflections have been as a result of the milestones my children have and continue to reach. I am currently in preparation for two significant milesstones in my girls’ lives. One is about to turn 18 (March), the other is about to turn 21 (June). Not to mention that another person in our family is about to turn 50. The Thompsons certainly can’t put a price on happiness this year! But as these milestones approach, I can’t help reflecting, as a Dad, on what it means to be a parent and the journey we all take in the development of our children.

I remember the first steps my children took, their first words (Dad – and I know there is a physiological reason this is the case but I choose to ignore that), their first day at school and so on and on these small but significant benchmarks go. I remember looking back and thinking at particular points in my girls’ lives that it couldn’t get any better than it currently was and yet it continued to do so. I wanted my girls to never grow up, I wanted to protect them and keep them close forever. I still remember the first school drop off I did with our eldest and how surprised I was at how hard it was to leave her at school that day (I sound soft, I know….). Now, at the time of writing, I have just heard that my youngest has got her ‘P’ plates. And again I feel the pangs of apprehension as another milestone passes and her independence increases. I want her to be safe and this whole in the car by yourself thing weighs a little heavily on me. However, I also realise that she is growing up and independence is an important skill for her to learn and to have.

So, why have I written about all this personal journey ‘stuff ’?

There are two reasons. One is, at times we need to be reminded to enjoy the journey and take time out to enjoy where our children have arrived at this particular time. Our Prep parents enjoying the emotion of their children starting school, the development of friendship groups and observing our children interacting with their peers (this was one of my favourite things), the changing depth of conversations with our children ranging from the excited 14 to the dozen conversations with our primary aged children, the development of the monosyllabic grunting conversations of early and sometimes mid-teens, to the articulate and genuine conversations with our boys and girls as they progress through school and adolescence into adulthood. There are so many great moments, we need to remember them, even the moments that don’t seem so great at the time.

The other reason is to highlight the importance of our children’s journey to independence. At times as a parent it is hard to watch them deal with failure, to watch them not get the accolades (we think) they deserve, it is hard to watch them explore their world and manage risk, it is hard to watch them in conflict or dealing with difficult situations. But these are all things that help our children grow, mature and develop the skills they need in life for when we as teachers and parents are no longer there to scaffold and protect them. So, I encourage all our parents to enjoy the moments, but to also step back at times and let our children explore, fail and be uncomfortable because in doing so we are actually developing in them the skills to succeed.

Kyle Thompson – Principal