Yesterday, we held our first Open Day after a 15-month hiatus due to COVID restrictions. I have always enjoyed Open Days because I love talking about our College and as I prepare the speech that I give to prospective parents I am again reminded about just how special this community is. Our students also had an opportunity to share their experience of the College as they shared in tour groups and on a student interview panel. It was heartwarming to hear the various ways in which the College is positively impacting their lives.
During Open Day, I focus on sharing with prospective parents our desire to grow young people who are outwardly focused. I see evidence of this in the lives of our students on a daily basis but most recently this outwardly focused posture was evident amongst our Social Justice Committee who raised over $1000 for Love Hawkesbury through the Secondary bake sale. Well done to these students! Hebrews 6:10 reminds us that God sees your heart for service. It says “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
With a week to go until the end of term, let's continue to encourage our students to strive for excellence, that is, to work with discipline and perseverance so that in all we do and, how we do it we honour God. There is still a week to go full of opportunities to stretch learning behaviours and develop new skills and understandings.
Felicity Marlow Principal
Help: My child won’t listen to me
When we are blessed with our precious children, and we watch them grow and develop in skills, confidence and independence, we realise that some of our quickly spoken words were spoken in haste and are possibly quite foolish.
We realise that parenting is more complex than we thought it might be. It takes great wisdom and time to nurture, support and grow our children. Often in encouraging, supporting and developing, we find that it is, in fact, equally about us as parents growing alongside our children. From their perspective in life, we see their curiosity in learning new things, their joy in small things, and their love and acceptance for the people they interact with each day.
There are many times where we pray that our children will learn from us. We teach our children to understand the world around them, make wise choices, and choose to do hard things when they don’t feel like it. We teach our children what is safe and what is not and want them to learn from the life experiences that we have gained in our time in the world.
As parents, we have the potential to provide helpful advice to our children, as we know them more intimately than a teacher or a coach may do. We often want to give our children advice to protect them from what we believe are the mistakes that we have experienced. Yet, we also know that it is often through making mistakes that we learn the most. Our hearts desire is to coach and guide our children.
Though, there are times that our precious children will struggle or will refuse to listen to us. They will believe that they already know the information that we are hoping to share or that they are just unwilling to listen. There are many reasons for our children not wanting to listen to us. These could include feeling tired or overwhelmed, not understanding what is being communicated, being arrogant and unwilling to listen, amongst many other reasons.
It is essential to try and figure out why our children are not listening. Often, the lack of response is a symptom, not the actual problem. It’s best to deal with the main issue; otherwise, you may end up dealing with more significant behaviour issues such as defiance, tantrums and backtalk.
Children like to feel in control. There are not many areas in their world that they can do this. They have command over their body and language and will use this at times to defy our requests. By choosing not to listen, children can try and assert their power. By implementing a few positive parenting techniques, you can help your child to feel heard and to assist them to listen to you.
For your pre-schooler:
Pay attention to times when they listen to you and praise them for doing so.
Take the time to listen fully to what your child has to say and agree where appropriate. If you disagree, say so.
Take the time to let them know the proper behaviour that you expect from them. Set your limit and stick with it.
Give directions while being close to your child and making eye contact with them when appropriate. This helps you to ensure that they have heard the instruction and may be more willing to comply.
For your Primary aged child:
Get on their level to talk and give directions. Make eye contact. Speak with your child rather than at your child. Give your child your full attention.
Instead of saying don’t, replace with what they can do. Instead of ‘Don’t touch your brother’, try ‘Use a gentle touch with your brother’.
Consider times when you can say yes instead of no.
Shorten your speech. Be as concise as possible, so your child is less likely to tune you out.
Ensure comprehension by asking your child to repeat back to you what you have said.
Make an observation: ‘What is your plan for taking care of the bins today?’ It assumes that your child has a plan and allows them to save face and do what needs to be done.
For your teenager:
Wait for the right moment. Our child must be in a place where they can hear our communication. Allow them to cool down or not be upset before discussing things.
Listen to their concerns. Don’t interrupt them while talking. Give them your full attention. While they may not like the rules and boundaries set, they are more likely to accept them if they feel listened to and respected.
Be clear on what you want to communicate. What is the one piece of information you want to relay to your child? State your information clearly, and don’t allow your child to drag you off course.
It’s not personal. When your child ignores you or becomes frustrated with you, remain calm. State the facts. You don’t have to attend every fight you are invited to.
Have clear rules and expectations. Keep your conversations focused on expectations and not on your child’s understanding of fairness.
Stay on message. Sometimes our teens will try and change the subject if they don’t want to follow the rules. They may justify their point of view or raise their voices to get their way. Stay calm and clear on what you are trying to communicate.
When helping our children to listen, ensure you are calm yourself, connect with your child and engage cooperation with empathy. Connect, come alongside and coach them. Pray for wisdom as you parent your children, making the best decisions you can in each moment, with God’s understanding and guidance with you.
Tara Waller Head of Primary Years
Brené Brown is an American researcher who has dedicated her life to studying and speaking on courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy. Her books include Dare to Lead, Braving the Wilderness, Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection. Most recently Brené Brown collaborated with Tarana Burke to co-edit You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience. Brené Brown says that shame is the emotion that tears us down and wants to destroy us but being grateful brings joy into our lives and gives us the strength to be vulnerable.
It can be hard during tough times to feel gratitude, but research shows us that speaking out gratitude can make your body calmer. Your brain regions become more in sync with one another, and your mental health is stronger. You can intentionally cultivate gratitude by starting a gratitude journal (for all things big and small), writing thank-you notes, and giving others credit for helping you, even if they do so accidentally.
People who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. Being grateful can help people cope with stress and this can have a beneficial effect on our heart rate. Naming three things to be grateful for each day may be difficult to do, yet its benefits have been scientifically proven. People who have tried this each day for just one week were happier and less depressed in one month and up to six months later. Keeping a gratitude journal is one way to foster gratitude.
There’s no wrong way to keep a gratitude journal, but here are some general instructions as you get started. Write three things for which you feel grateful. The physical record is important as there is a brain connection between writing and journaling your thoughts. The things you list can be relatively small in importance such as the beautiful sunrise this morning or relatively large like my parents have just celebrated 40 years of marriage. The goal of the exercise is to remember a good event, experience, person, or thing in your life - then enjoy the good emotions that come with it. Click here to view 9 tips for journaling.
Catherine Redwood Counsellor
P&F Meeting - Term 2, 2021
Wednesday, 9 June at 7:30pm
The next P&F Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 9 June commencing at 7:30pm in the LRC. Regular P&F items (events and reports) will be discussed. Additionally, Mrs Suzi Scott, Director of ELC will be the College representative. She will be talking about the recent Assessment and Rating outcome, the progress towards the chicken coop and a staffing update for the ELC.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Enrol Now for 2022 and 2023
We love our College Community and its exciting when families decide to enrol additional siblings to partner in their education at the College.
Please note places are filling fast in many of our 2022 and 2023 cohorts, some already with waiting lists, so if you are considering enrolling an additional child at the College in 2022 or 2023 in our ELC, Primary or Secondary Years, don’t delay and submit your application as soon as possible to secure your place!
Click here to access the online Application for Enrolment form.
Staff Update - Term 2, 2021
This week we welcomed Mrs Emma Fellers to the College, as our new Receptionist. We are thrilled that Mrs Julia Ma is remaining at the College, transitioning into a new administrative role providing support for student enrolments.
In other news, the ELC team will welcome Mrs Preetima Behl in the coming weeks, as a new Early Childhood Teacher, whilst Mrs Rhiannan Morsillo is on maternity leave.
If you speak with either of these new staff members, please give them a very warm Norwest welcome.
Seed Academy - Week 7, Term 2, 2021
Secondary students were treated to a Hip Hop lesson demonstration this week when our dance tutor, Miss Sarah visited Secondary Assembly. Click here to check out the moves on this crew!
If your big (or little) kid is interested in joining a Hip Hop crew, email [email protected] for more information.
College Communication Notes
Click here to read the Early Learning Centre Communication Notes.
Click here to read the Primary Communication Notes.
Primary Powerful Learners
Over the last two weeks at our Infants & Primary Assemblies, students were recognised for their learning or their commitment to our community and its values. Congratulations to all our Powerful Learners.