Tuesday and Wednesday morning were early starts for many Year 9 Mothers (or significant females), daughters, fathers (or significant males) and sons as they came together to share in a breakfast and listen to guest speakers stories on guiding adolescents during this phase of their life’s journey. Although an early morning start there was a lot of chatter between those who attended.
Our speakers for the girl's breakfast were Jane (mother) and Anabel Beech (2012). They engaged us from the start sharing their journey through the ups and downs of adolescence.
Jane and Anabel emphasised the importance of communication and being honest with each other. As you build trust with each other it becomes easier to share the things that are going on in your life. Anabel stressed that we sometimes don’t say 'thank you' to our mum’s enough and to say it with love.
Jane spoke to the daughters in the room saying: 'We mothers are trying, we love you and we mothers are all on the same major path. We want you to have a great time at school. We want you to make great friends. We want you to have fun. We want you to do some school work. We love you. We worry about you.'
She also reminded students that it is a big and really exciting world they are entering and there are so many adventures ahead. 'The world is waiting patiently for you. There is no hurry. It is not going anywhere. This lovely school, the fun and the education you are having now is really good. This is a really good place to be.'
A few comments from those who attended on Tuesday morning.
“I really enjoyed the mother daughter breakfast! It was a great opportunity to socialise with friends and to share a special moment with mum over breakfast. The guest speakers, mother daughter duo Anabel and Jane Beech, gave an excellent speech about the ups and downs of the path to adulthood which topped off the morning perfectly! Thank you to everyone who helped organise the event.” Audrey Morison (Year 9)
“As busy mothers the Mother Daughter breakfast provided a good opportunity to catch up with other parents in the year group, whilst enjoying a nice breakfast and good conversation with them and our own daughters. The mother daughter guest speakers who shared their experience of their relationship during the high school years was both entertaining and confirmed to the rest of us that we are “not alone” in some of the challenges faced by teenagers and families today. It was a nice way to start the day.” Julia Morison (mum)
“It was a really nice breakfast where we had the opportunity to spend some nice time together and chat with other mums and daughters. The speakers were great, we could really relate to their stories.” Ella Naismith (Year 9) and Lana Naismith (mum)
FATHER SON BREAKFAST SPEAKERS
Paul entertained us with a few stories of the embarrassing moments between sons and father and the joys that a parent comes to appreciate as they get older. However, his parting words for us were:
‘Above all, your parents love you more than you know. Indeed, you’ll never know how much your parents love you until you have kids of your own. But always realise that, although your parents can be embarrassing and seem overstrict, they always love you more than anyone and they are always trying to do what is best. They will ALWAYS be there to help.'
'Yes, adolescence is frustrating and difficult. It’s difficult trying to work out yourself, your mates, girls, the world, everything. On top of that your parents are trying to work you out and you are trying to work them out. However, adolescence is also one of the best times of your life. It’s fun and it’s finding things out about life. So, have that fun – but remember your dads are always there to help you along the way. When the chips are down, they really will be the last man standing!!’
Jake reiterated the following:
‘It is easy to forget that your parents were also the same age as you once and they also had parents who they at times did not agree with; no one’s parents tell them not to do something because they don’t like them having fun. They are motivated by a desire to do what they perceive is best for you. People my age don’t even remember the parties that they did or didn’t attend. What they remember is the friendships and experiences they had along the way. At school you have a unique opportunity to be surrounded by people who are there to support you every day. Don’t waste that opportunity. No one should rush towards having the responsibility to pay bills and go to work. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying high school for what it is.’
After the breakfast I spoke with a few dads and sons and asked what they thought of the morning. They were grateful for the opportunity to have breakfast and were impressed their sons had to serve them first. They enjoyed the speakers and felt that it was great to know that there are others going through the same things as they are with their sons, especially identifying with the ‘adolescent brain’. We also chatted about the need to be mindful of opening the doors of communication so that boys know they can come and talk to their fathers or significant males especially around issues of mental health.