A new school term is often significant for students as it marks the beginning of transitions. Whether that be into life beyond the gates of their school, into Secondary and the conclusion of Junior School, or a new year level.
It also means that, as parents and guardians, we too must consider the adjustments we need to make in our parenting. 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.
Life transitions are very teachable moments so as parents it is a great idea to be intentional about the process of change and to help our boys build a literacy around it.
Transitions usually occur with some signature phases:
- The separation (moving away from what we know – for many of our boys this is just knowing that we are leaving the familiar)
- A time of transition (often accompanied by lots of tests and feelings of uncertainty and growth)
- A re-integration (the time when we start to work with the new, make sense of it and move forward)
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.
Dr Ray Swann is Deputy Headmaster and Head of the Crowther Centre at Brighton Grammar School. He is a father of two children. He also hosts the Understanding Boys podcast series. This article is about Parenting
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