by Dr Ray Swann

Walking alongside your son

I was fortunate to get away for a few days this month to reflect, settle and find a sense of the ‘truth north’.

As I walked along the beach, I was thinking about our boys and the last few years they have had. What it is to be a young man right now in these times!

It is with this in mind that we think about the end of the term, reports and accountability. When I, as a parent, receive my son’s school report, what do I do?

How do we, his parents or guardians, make sense of progress, what is important, and answer other questions like, how much has my son achieved and is he making the most of his time at school?

Possibly the answers to these questions are two-fold: yes, despite the past three years and trials we need to focus on a positive trajectory.

As we move through the cycle of growth, there are challenges and it is what we learn from this that stimulates growth. For some, it may mean that not every goal was met, not every task completed, and not every horizon reached.

Why not plan some time over the next few weeks to reflect with your son? Have a series of conversations with him about the term. Walk alongside him on his journey.

I am reminded of the words of Melbourne writer Michael Leunig: ‘Let it out. Let it unravel. Let it free and it can be a path on which to travel.’


Brought to you by Brighton Grammar School

Dr Ray Swann is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Positive Masculinity. Father of two and host of the Understanding Boys podcast, his professional background includes consulting, research, lecturing and coaching. This article is about


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