Choices and Consequence
As Principal I speak with a number of individual students, small groups, class groups and whole year levels about behaviour expectations and the consequences of behaviour choices. In many instances, follow-up conversations with parents and teachers have taken place.
Understandably, children’s behaviour – their own or that of others - can be of great concern to parents. It is not uncommon for parents to become more stressed, upset or angry than the children involved, and when this happens, the situation tends to become more complicated. Nevertheless, there is always much to be learned, by everyone involved, from such circumstances.
I share this story about Choice and Consequence with you:
‘Five wise men got lost in the forest.
The first one said: - I will go left – my intuition tells me that.
The second one said: - I will go right – there is a reason why right comes from the word rightness.
The third one said: - I will go back – we came from there, it means I will go out from the forest.
The fourth one said: - I will go straight – we should move forward, the forest will end and something new will open.
The fifth said: - You are all wrong. There is a better solution. Wait for me. He found the tallest tree and climbed into it.
While he was climbing everyone else scattered towards their own sides. From above he saw where they should go to leave the forest faster. Now he could even see in what order the other wise men would reach the end of the forest. He climbed higher and saw the shortest way. He understood the problem and found the best solution! He knew that he did everything right. And the others were wrong.
They were stubborn and they didn’t listen to him. He was the real Wise Man! But he was wrong. Everyone was right. The one who went left, found himself in the thicket. He had to starve and fight with wild animals. But he learned how to survive in the forest; he became a part of the forest and could teach others the same. The one who went right, met thieves. They took everything from him and made him steal with them. But after some time, he had woken up something in those thieves that they had forgotten – humanity and compassion. The remorse was so strong in some of them, that they also became wise men. The one who went back, made a pathway through the forest, which soon became a road for those who wanted to walk in the forest without being afraid of getting lost. The one who went straight, became a pioneer. He visited new places and opened wonderful new opportunities. The one who climbed into the tree, became a specialist at finding shortcuts. People turned to him when they wanted to find the fastest way to deal with their problems, even if it didn’t lead to any great personal development. This is how the five wise men reached their destiny.’
Briefly, this story illustrates a few of life’s realities. Stuff happens, decisions are made and certain consequences follow. Some choices are seen as ‘right’; some as ‘wrong’. Values are placed on choices made. If it is avoidable, responsibility may be denied or excuses made or the blame shifted to others. Even when the consequence is unavoidable, bemoaning the outcome or calling it unfair can follow. We learn little or nothing from the whole experience.
Children can be masters of this sort of self-deception. They also are pretty good at convincing parents that their versions of events are the true and accurate versions. This is not as outrageous as it sounds really. Children are like the rest of us. Who really wants to own up, tell the whole truth and potentially expose oneself to criticism and punishment and, what we believe, may be a lessening in the eyes of those we love? And yet that is exactly what is required in order to grow towards moral maturity and responsible adulthood.
It is the role of parents and teachers, then, to use wisdom and detachment to calmly get to the truth, have children own and take responsibility for their actions and to accept the consequence that follows. It is our role to help them learn from their choices. That’s what childhood is about – learning and growing into caring, responsible maturity. Over-protecting and defending children in such circumstances does not honour or assist their journey. It’s worth remembering that children who experience some form of bullying often come out stronger and more resourceful because they have experienced difficulties and they know they can defeat them.
In the story, we are shown that each wise man made a choice and each suffered the consequence of that choice. The man who climbed the tree thought he was the wisest as he avoided the pitfalls that befell the others; however, it is not always those who pass trouble-free through childhood who are best prepared for what lies ahead. Each wise man was prepared to learn a valuable character lesson from his ‘mistake’ and, accordingly, became stronger and better-equipped for the future. They did not give into despair, believe poorly of themselves or give up.
I believe that we should view the mistakes made by children in the same way. Yes, we do all we can to teach children to make wise and appropriate choices but ‘stuff happens’ and mistakes are made. That’s pretty normal. To give children the idea that perfection is expected – in one’s own children or in other people’s - is to set them up for failure and low self-esteem, to say the least. Here is a far more positive and realistic message to give children:
‘You are not perfect but you are capable, caring and resilient and we love you, mistakes and all. You will make mistakes but when you do, take responsibility for them bravely, make amends sincerely for the harm you’ve caused, learn your lesson well and move on with hope and confidence.’
In this way, good things can come, even when the road taken leads to thicket or thieves.
Senior Swimming Carnival
The Senior Swimming Carnival will be held at the Bayswater Waves Swimming Complex next Friday 31 March. All students in Years 4 - 6 will be attending this school event. On this day students will need to arrive at school no later than 8.30am as the buses will be leaving the school at approximately 8.45am All students will travel to the pool by bus for the carnival which commences at approximately 9.30am.
All parents are invited and are very welcome to attend.To ensure that the carnival runs smoothly, all students need to:
- Wear their sports uniform, including a school hat.
- Bring their morning tea, lunch and enough water for the day.
- Wear and bring some sunscreen – each bay will be provided with sunscreen.
- Ensure that all clothing, towels etc are clearly labelled.
- Follow the rules for the day, eg. keep their areas tidy, use passes, eg. for the toilet.
- Be aware that this is a school event and the school expectations apply in regards to student behaviour and manners.
Students can bring mascots, to cheer with, however, these are not to be made from paper as this creates mess at the pool. Students cannot dye or colour their hair or draw on themselves with textas, pens, coloured zinc etc. Students are not to purchase food from the kiosk or have food purchased for them by adults as this is unfair to the other children. Students will sit with their factions throughout the day. A separate area for spectators has also been organised. A Programme of Events for the day will be uploaded to the newsletter next Thursday where parents can obtain a copy.
We are sure the students are looking forward to this event and we congratulate them on their efforts this term. We also acknowledge and thank the many parents who have volunteered to assist with the swimming carnival and very much appreciate their co-operation and support.
Best wishes and good luck to all the factions!
Footy is Back
I am not sure if anyone has noticed but there has been a definite shift in the earth's axial tilt this week!
we have all experienced a bit of a tough time over the past six months as we struggled through weekend after weekend without games of football to watch, or games of football to dissect!
Thank God things return to normal tonight as our famous Australian game is back and we all get the chance to breath a little easier. Looking forward to a BIG seasons!
C'Mon West Coast Eagles!
C'Mon East Perth !
Infant Jesus Family
Sadly, on Sunday evening Ms Leanne Griffin's father, Gerald, passed away peacefully at home. We keep Leanne and her family in our prayers and thoughts at this very sad and difficult time.
May He Rest in Peace
Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep?
At this time of year, when the first term of the year is drawing to a close, routines are established and clubs, sports and outside school activities are well underway, it is natural for children to be tired at the end of the week. Maintaining sleeping routines is just as important to staying healthy as eating the right foods and being active.
According to Professor Harlene Hayne, head of the Psychology Department at the University of Otago, increasing the amount of sleep children receive is one of the most powerful strategies for improving their mental health and well-being.
Educator Michael Grose alerts us to the fact that lack of sleep over time can lead to sleep deprivation, which is like jet lag. Lack of sleep can result in irritability, memory lapses and has links to poor mental health including anxiety and depression. He also asserts that when children get enough sleep, confidence and well-being improve.
Sleep maximizes the brain growth which occurs with toddlers and teens. Sleep also consolidates learning. Sleep research has shown that the brain practises what it has learned during the day when a child or young person is asleep. So, sufficient sleep consolidates past learning as well as keeps children fresh to maximise their future learning. We can help children to establish good sleep patterns. Children usually carry good sleep habits into adolescence. If you struggle to get young children to sleep or constantly battle kids who want to stay up longer, some knowledge of good sleep habits may be useful
Good Sleep Habits Include:
- Regular bedtimes: Kids may fight this, but make sure kids keep regular bedtimes during the week and allow them to stay up a little later on weekends. Children need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each day, while teens need a minimum of nine hours.
- A 45 minute wind-down time before bed: This includes: removing TV and other stimuli, calming the child down and limiting food intake (and caffeine for teens). The wind-down time informs the body clock that sleeping-time is near.
- A bedtime routine: Have a bedtime routine, such as story-reading and teeth cleaning, that signals psychologically that it is time for sleep. A set routine means that kids can predict. It also means that some children will fight bedtime so you need some good strategies in place to get kids to bed and make sure they stay there.
- Keeping bedrooms for sleep: Bedrooms that resemble caves are recommended. It gets tricky with mobile phones and other information technology, but it’s smart to keep mobiles and laptops out of bedrooms at sleep-time. This goes for parents too. Most parents sleep in technology-free bedrooms (apart from a clock-radio) yet their kids will have technology-full rooms.
- Maximise the three sleep cues: These include: darkness (maintaining a cave-like bedroom); lowering body temperature (baths can be good for this); and melatonin (work within their cycle).
With mental health being on the agenda for all Australians and New Zealanders there is no better start than attending to good sleep habits. If your kids get less sleep than they should, check out the five habits above and work out which of these you can adjust to move things in favour of them getting more sleep.
Prayer For Lent
O God, Light for the journey,
Your word is a lamp for our feet,
and a guiding light for our path.
Open our minds, illumine our hearts,
That we may see your love’s glow in all we meet,
and that even in the dark,
we may trust your light to shine.
May your light bring us clarity of vision,
peace of mind,
and courage to act justly in our world.
We ask this prayer through your Son,
Jesus Christ, who is the light for the world.
Parish Fun Run
The Infant Jesus School Fun Run has become an annual event supporting people in need. The Fun run has typically been an event focussing on global events of natural disaster.
This year our school has committed to supporting the Infant Jesus Parish to purchase and upgrade the sound system. The close partnership between the parish and the school is highlighted by the words of Pope Francis. Pope Francis explains that the relationship between the family and the Church is so important. He said that the connection between the two is natural, because the Church is a "spiritual family” and the family is a small church. He added that "families and parishes are the two places where we encounter, in every age, that communion of love which has its ultimate source in God.”
The ‘Parish Fun Run,’ will be held on Friday 7 April (rescheduled from Friday 24 April) at various times throughout the day. The children in Years 1-3 will run the event during their normal daily fitness times and Years 4-6 will run the event during the normal sport sessions on Friday afternoon. Pre-Primary children will run the event at a time convenient to them. Three-Year-Old Kindy and Kindy children will have a collection box for donations in their classroom. Children can run, jog, walk, skip etc around the track. Each child will receive a card to record the number of ‘laps’.
In preparation for this event, each student will receive a sponsor sheet that will be sent home this week. Please collect as many sponsors and/or donations as possible. Children can be sponsored per lap – or for a general donation. We hope that you are passionate and continue to support this worthy event. You can start collecting today!!!
We ask that parents be aware of who and where their children are going to collect sponsors and donations. Relatives and friends are the safest people to ask.
A home represents the most precious human wealth, that of encounter, that of the relationships between persons who live together and who, together help one another to grow...
Have a GREAT Week - #ExpectGreatThings!