Six ways to help your child with anxiety

Welcome back. I hope you all had a refreshing break and were able to compensate for some of the extreme temperatures over the two-week break.

Term 4 is often challenging for our students and can be a time of anxiety. Preps can be nervous about Year 1, Year 6 may be concerned about entering Middle School, Year 12 students have some of the biggest events in their lives coming up with formal, graduation and making plans for the future.

I know it will be a rewarding term when we grow through the challenges that face us and use them to become stronger and more prepared for the future. If you are wondering how to help your children deal with anxiety, here are six helpful hints.

  1. Don’t share too much. When your child comes home from College with tales of mean girls, aggressive boys and insensitive teachers, remember that children feed off our emotions and can get more distressed when we’re distressed. We need to try to keep our own anxiety in check while sympathising with theirs. We have to be the emotional rock: the person who understands and supports.
  2.  Don’t advocate too hard. We all want to stand up for our children, but our eagerness to advocate can sometimes actually raise anxiety levels. If your child shares a school problem with you, your first instinct is often to march into the school and try to resolve it. This tells your children that you don’t have faith in them to fix their own problems. Your first priority should be to help them find a solution they can implement without your help, every time.
  3.  Focus on their strengths. Most of us get our confidence not from compensating for weaknesses, but on playing to our strengths. Children can’t always avoid their weak areas, but by focusing on strengths we build self-efficacy and confidence.
  4.  Don’t overplay strengths. Positive affirmation can easily turn to pressure. Compliment children when they excel, but don’t make their excellence a reason to expect even more from them.
  5.  Ensure values are in the context of love and forgiveness. Sometimes children make poor choices and the thought of family finding out can seem like a fate worse than death. Let your children know that values are important but you understand the realities and temptations they face. Don’t create a culture where your children are too anxious to come to you and admit they messed up.
  6. Don’t hide your own troubles. If we’re struggling financially or fighting with our spouse, we think our children are better off not knowing. But they have a sixth sense for these types of things and if they don’t know the whole story, they can blow it out of all proportion. Should we pile our own troubles on our child’s shoulders? No, but it doesn’t hurt to be honest about what our concerns are and, more importantly, what we’re doing about it. By sharing what makes us anxious and how we deal with it, we’re modelling practical ways to resolve anxiety.

Congratulations to the Bullock family

Over the holidays we learned of the joyful arrival of Lyla Hope Bullock to Annaliese and Jared Bullock. Lyla was born at 3:32pm on Friday 22 September and weighed in a 7lb 3oz. We wish the Annaliese and Jared every blessing on their new arrival.

Welcome back to our Fiji Mission Trip, New Caledonia Trip and New Zealand Ski Trip

It is wonderful that our students and staff have been involved in so many extra curricular events over these holidays. No doubt there will be further said about these trips in this and subsequent issues of the Eaglet to come, but by all reports these trips were very positive and successful (except for one minor hiccup concerning a pilot strike in New Caledonia at the exact time when our party was trying to get home but I will leave the telling of that story to others).

New Performing Arts Centre preview

Arts at GCC is growing in strength, numbers and quality so our next major build is going to be a Performing Arts Centre. We are very excited about this project and want to share the ‘flythrough’ with you. This is a video from the architects of a rough layout of the structure and rooms.

To compensate for the loss of the western carpark a new one will be created. The Performing Arts Centre will include a 600-seat theatre along with new Music, Drama, Dance and Hospitality learning areas with the first stage commencing early next year. 

Mike Curtis, Principal

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