by Dr Ray Swann

Walking alongside your son


There has been a huge amount going on this year: from floods to fires, to a pandemic, to reconciliation week and more.

As I walked along the beach, I was thinking about our boys and the year they’ve had. Their 2020. 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 year 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. That being said, it has been a very different road this term, and as a result this 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 Deputy Headmaster and Head of Crowther Centre at Brighton Grammar School, an all-boys school in Melbourne. His professional background includes consulting, research, lecturing and coaching This article is about


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