18 June 2018


As a School Psychologist I am reminded daily of the vital role parents play in a boy's journey through adolescence. Parents often feel irrelevant, obsolete even… yet they retain significant influence on their son's academic, social and emotional development. Good parenting, as with the 'terrible twos', is as important as ever.

Once, long ago, when I was having a rough time and talked it over on a walk with my Dad, I thanked him afterwards for his wise counsel. Which bemused him; as he said "the only sound that came from me was 'Mmm'". But such is the power of listening that even sympathetic noises made a palpable difference. The art of listening is not in itching for him to stop so you can tell him what to do, but in helping him find the tranquillity that comes with unburdening himself.

When waters are troubled, as they often are at this stage in the life cycle, the beacon on the horizon is always to do what you can, as a parent, to stay connected. To keep communicating and showing you care. It is also important to know when and how to get help, if you are worried.

School holidays that offer a time to recharge, reconnect and relax as a family can also throw up challenges. Should you have concerns about your son's wellbeing over the holidays, information on the attachment may assist. Meanwhile there are few better ways of showing your care this Christmas than by just listening.

Shauna Lipscombe

School Psychologist, Senior School