by Dr Ray Swann

Coping with change

The start and end of the school year are characterised by changes and transitions.

Some students have recently moved schools or into new year levels, while others are just beginning their new schooling journey.

Often, we are not overly conscious of what transitions may mean for our children; we naturally expect them to cope but change can be unsettling.

I remember speaking with a grieving Year 12 student a few years ago who wept freely and spoke of the real sadness he felt in knowing he was leaving school.

In the world we live in, it is expected of men and boys that they will cope with change (‘man up and get on with it’) and are unlikely to either ask for help or be able to explain or understand why they are upset.

I have observed first hand the real emotion felt by boys at the end of primary or secondary school.

To help our children cope with this process, the key for parents is to listen and to honour the experience and emotion without judgement.

Of course, the real benefit of transition is the new life that our children move into as they grow and mature.

Although changes can be challenging, they are also wonderful opportunities to set a new vision for the future.


Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

Dr Ray Swann is Deputy Headmaster and Head of the Crowther Centre at Brighton Grammar School. He is a father of two teenage children. He also hosts the Understanding Boys podcast series. This article is about


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