From the Assistant Principal
This weeks Parenting Ideas article written by Collett Smart (a qualified teacher, author and psychologist) provides some valuable advice to parents about how they can best support their daughters when friendships go wrong. The nature of teenage friendships which can be both an incredible support and a source of joy and in the blink of an eye can be equally a source of much angst and disconnect. It is important to recognise that friendship can play an important role in helping to build connections and positive sense of self. Whilst the way in which girls relate to one another will vary and may even vary depending on what else is happening for them it is important that we don’t expect them to be social at all times. Whether your daughter is part of a large group of friends, has just a few close friends or is most comfortable spending time alone it is important that they are able to develop the skills to navigate the social environment of the school classroom and playground. As parents, our biggest role is ensuring that our daughters know that we are present to them, interested in and care about their friendships and the challenges that sometimes result from these.
Michael Thompson, in his book Best Friends, Worst Enemies highlights seven important skills that help develop an individual’s capacity to be successful in the friendship arena.
- A positive outlook on friendship
- The capacity to share
- The willingness and capacity to apologise when wrong
- The capacity to accurately interpret emotions
In many ways these qualities are clearly reflected in our College values where we seek to promote positive relationships through encouraging the girls to accept both themselves and others, in a spirit of welcome and hospitality. Furthermore, we encourage the girls to be women who live out the values of service and justice in a desire to be whole.
This week our girls have an extraordinary number of opportunities to form connections with one another beyond the playground. Such opportunities provide an opportunity for new friendships to develop as a result of common interests and experiences. On Monday of this week we were able to celebrate and recognise the extraordinary number of extracurricular opportunities for our girls in our extracurricular photo day. The opportunity to be part of a team, be it sporting, debating, dance troupe, band, choir, Duke of Edinburgh or other provide not only a platform for skill development, which helps to build resilience but also an opportunity for connection and belonging, which are strongly correlated to school success both in the classroom and on the playground.