Over the holidays I have been revisiting the issue of student resilience through the work of Andrew Fuller. Resilience is the mental or psychological skill to properly adapt to stress and adversity. What is the outcome of this for our boys? Exactly what every parent wants for their child and every teacher wants for their students – for them to have safe, happy and fulfilling lives. Fuller believes that families can build resilient young men in the following ways:
Promote Belonging: A sense of belonging is the strongest anecdote to self-harm, depression and drug abuse. Boys are most resilient when they have a sense of being part of the family, having different friendships to belong to and having an adult outside their family who connects of them.
Waste Time: Our culture is suffering from attention deficit disorder. Boys are forever being entertained from one organised event to another. Is there any surprise when they claim “I’m bored!” Structure some unstructured time into your weekly schedule that involves quiet time, creativity and ingenuity.
Develop Rituals: Family rituals such as a walk after dinner can build a sense of protection and resilience in a boy’s life. Quite often the best rituals often cost nothing. They are an investment in the future of your children and grandchildren as they will continue to live the values and beliefs reflected in these activities.
Hold Hierarchy: Families do not work well as democracies. Parents should have the final say. Some parents feel that if they take charge that they will lose the friendship of their son when often the reverse is true. Authoritative parenting allows boys to feel safe, have clear boundaries and flourish.
Be Consistent: Parents will agree on rules and standards and maintain these promote the well-being of their son. It is also important that parents not be open to manipulation and work together as a team.
Argue: Families that work will know how to argue. The way parents teach their son to resolve differences of opinion, negotiate and problem solve is critical to their resilience. Whilst it is important to allow for differences of opinion, boys also need to learn that they will not be able to win at all costs.
Most importantly we need to realise that all of the above is desirable but not always possible and we need to be able to give ourselves along the way!
Service Program Week 1
Year 9 student Sebastian Silanesu (pictured above) volunteers is a Player Mentor in the Modified Rugby Program for Children with Learning and Perceptual Difficulties. This program has been developed to encourage children with learning and perceptual difficulties to play rugby and become part of their local junior rugby club community. Player Mentors receive specific training about how to support their MRP Player on the field as well as being part of the Ginger Cloud Player Mentor Leadership program delivered by MRP Ambassadors and Wallaby legends Nathan Sharpe and Tim Horan AM.
Ziggy de Nicolai Year 8, a former student of Upper Brookfield State School, had the opportunity to raise funds for the school P&C by running a food stall at the Oxfam Charity Walk on Saturday June 18. Ziggy wanted to support his old school and had an early start at 6am cooking sausages and onions and serving hungry walkers through the morning. The walkers had just completed 85km of hard terrain overnight.
Jack Quinn Year 5 and Jackson McGarvey Year 5 helping teachers of Year 4 conduct the Roald Dahl day at St Mark’s Inala which run the activities for 90 students – a fantastic way to help others during their school break.
Please remember to log your service hours and send your stories and photos to us.
Mr Conor Finn, Dean of Formation