Mind the Gap

College Blog Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

In the last issue of Direction, Mrs Marlow wrote about the different parenting styles that we can adopt at various points in our parenting journey - some with great results, others which leave us shaking our head. I have recently started reading a new book which also refers to parenting however in a different kind of relationship. I've started reading Godmothers by Lisa Bevere, which refers to the Godparent relationship which may be common among College families.

When I was younger, I had a Godmother, Louise Fitzgerald. This was a very different relationship to that with my parents as I felt that I could talk to Louise about things that I found difficult to talk to my own parents about. I recently found some old letters between myself and Louise and was reminded of the special relationship that is between a Godparent and a child. In the book, Lisa Bevere refers to a gap that we can experience in relationships between parent and child that can often be filled by a Godparent. Lisa provides a definition of 'gap' to be a break in a barrier; an assailable position. She goes on to say, 'that a gap can be an area or space that renders us vulnerable to attack due to a lack of protection. The concept of the generation gap is the breach that exists between the opinions, actions, and beliefs of the older generation and those of the younger one'.

As parents the gap that is felt with our children can, at times, feel quite wide, that we are speaking a different language. This can also be felt between teachers and their students. We often see this in cryptic text language or phrases that capture a moment which may be lost on parents. This gap has been felt for many generations, this isn't something new. What I am learning about though, is that as a parent and teacher, I can surround myself with other people who can speak into the life of my children. These people will be entrusted with being the other person that a child might go to for help, advice or wise counsel. I wonder if you and your children have someone like that in their lives? Is there someone that your child can go to for Godly counsel, as a sounding board or for a second opinion? A child's parents will always be their parent and nothing can replace this valuable relationship. We often hear that it takes a village to raise a child and it might be worth checking - who is in your village?

Suzi Scott
Director, Early Learning Centre