Welcome to what is widely recognised as the busiest time of the school year, Term 4.
For our Year 12 students and parents, this can be a term of mixed feelings and emotions as the students finalise their Year 12 course requirements, apply for university and TAFE courses and scholarships, make plans for a gap year, or continue in current traineeships or casual employment. It is a time when students and their parents are focused on the future.
Just a couple of generations ago, many young people in this age group would have been in full time employment and they would be moving out of the family home by this stage in their lives. This is not the case today as young people face a more uncertain world in terms of future studies and employment.
Year 12 students are on the brink of ‘finding their place’ in the world and yet they still need the unconditional support of parents and their teachers as they prepare for life after school.
This can be a time when some students compare themselves and their achievements unfairly with their fellow students and this can bring a level of tension into friendship groups and families that makes life unsettled. On a more positive note, this is also a time when young people are seeking guidance from careers counsellors, teachers and parents. This can be a great opportunity for parents to find time to discuss and visit tertiary institutions, and show an interest in future courses, plans and ideas with their child.
Parents who regularly reassure adolescents that parental love is not conditional upon outstanding academic results, enable their children to manage success and failure, as well as appreciate their own unique strengths and qualities and the contribution they will eventually make to their world.
As well as being supportive at this time in your child’s final term of school, parents are encouraged to respect the decisions about future courses etc that their child makes. This demonstrates that you regard them as a young adult capable of making plans and well thought through decisions. This approach will certainly help strengthen mutual respect and affection between young people and their parents, especially in light of the average length of time that young people remain living at home these days!
I wish all Year 12 students and their parents a very productive term and I look forward to celebrating Year 12 graduation with you later this term.
‘A child becomes an adult when he realises that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.’ Thomas Szasz
Mrs Carrie Allwood
Head of Campus, Middle & Senior Years
Reference: Carr-Gregg, M and Shale, E (2002) Adolescence, a guide for parents