I hope all our Dad’s had a great day on Sunday for Father’s Day.
As they shared their Fathers’ Day stories about what gifts they bought and where they went for breakfast or lunch, some of the boys asked me what my children had given me as a gift this year.
Truthfully, I did quite well. I got a number of terrific things from my two children, and what makes it always that bit more special is that they always have to work an idea out for themselves as I can rarely, when the inevitable question is asked, think of something specific I want.
While I don’t have everything, I do have everything I need, and so I genuinely struggle to think of suggestions for gifts. So they are on their own!
In general, they manage to come up with great presents, although there have been a few interesting ones along the way. My wife tells me that is my own fault for being so void of ideas, but when I really think about what they have given me over the years, it is not material goods which I most remember and value.
Being a dad is the greatest thing I have ever done. The day our daughter was born was the start of an incredible journey which has ultimately taught me more about who I am than I could ever have thought possible. When a child enters the family, your life ceases to be your own – you are sharing each day with a little person who looks to you for guidance and reassurance, care and love. When our son came along two years later, the responsibility to be a good role model doubled, but so to did the joy.
Over the years my children have given me many things:-
Love:- the unconditional love that children have for their parents. It has both humbled and sustained me throughout the challenges of parenting. They get that we are not perfect and love us anyway. Isn’t a hug from your child one of the best gifts of all?
Patience:- they have taught me to take more time, slow down, work at their pace. Take time to listen and care. Their little hands showed me how things we take for granted as being easy, still take time to learn, and that children don’t respond well to stress and unrealistic time-frames.
Awareness:- my children have made me aware of many things. How I need to care for the environment so I can gift them a world as beautiful as the one that was gifted to me. They have shown me how to care without judgement for others. Children don’t judge the poor, the weak, the homeless or the lost. We adults teach them to do this. My children have taught me to care more and judge less.
Fear:- loving a child the way a parent does is to experience a lesson in real fear. I never knew real fear until I was a Dad. I have feared for their happiness, their future, their health and their safety. But being fearful for them has been the motivator to teach them to stay safe.
Perspective:- following on from fear – my children have taught me to keep perspective. Despite my fears for them, they have shown me that they are capable, sensible, practical and able to solve problems. A non-answered text message doesn’t mean they have been kidnapped – it usually means a flat battery or that they are having a good time with their friends and not staring into their phones.
Courage:- In watching them grow and try new things and conquer their fears, they have taught me to relish new opportunities and experiences. They have shown me, on many occasions, that having taught them to stand up for what is right, that in so doing themselves, they display real courage and honour.
Forgiveness:- Through my children I have learnt about real forgiveness. They are far from perfect and have made mistakes and like most children, have let me and their mother down on occasions. But they have also shown me the true power of forgiveness – to move things forward. That in accepting their flaws, they have come to accept mine and that in living a life of genuine forgiveness there is always a way to patch up hurt feelings.
Determination:- I have had to learn to be determined and resolute. Children need a good dose of Vitamin N (vitamin no). I’ve had to make unpopular choices, deny them permission to do somethings they have wanted to do, or have some things they have wanted to have. They have taught me to withstand whining and complaining. I can tolerate the silent treatment for hours, even days, without breaking.
There are many more things that I could list. Precious gifts that they have given me that money simply cannot buy. In doing my job as a parent – teaching them about life and giving them the skills to (hopefully) navigate it successfully, they have in reply taught me more than I could have ever envisaged. While I’ve made many, many mistakes along the way, I know that they have flourished despite my errors, and that in love, they forgave me when I got it wrong. It is truly a tremendous privilege being a parent – the most important job any of us will ever do.
So when the boys asked me, ‘What did you get for Fathers’ Day?’, I have honestly answered, ‘Too many gifts to mention!’.
Congratulations to our Friends of Prep committee for the great fun enjoyed at the Fathers’ Day activity afternoon. In what has become a bit of a tradition on the Preparatory Campus, the oval saw many dads and sons attempting to outdo one another in a variety of physical challenges.
A huge thankyou to our Sports Master, Mr Egan, Co-curricular Officer Mrs Schroder for all of their support and preparation in making the afternoon such a success.
I have often written in the newsletter about the importance of boys seeing the fathers read. The evidence is quite conclusive that boys who witness men reading and writing will value the skills more highly and engage more readily with learning in these vital areas.
As part of our Father’s Day activities, the Real Men Read initiative invited men into the classrooms to read with the boys and those that did enjoyed the experience as much as the boys themselves.
Thanks to all who took part.
The school community is aware of the very strong results achieved in the 2017 NAPLAN assessment.
While we are very proud of our boys achievements as a cohort, we also have celebrated those individuals who performed at the very top of the two year levels, Years 3 and 5. In this week’s newsletter I want to acknowledge those Year 5 boys who recorded the greatest improvement since Year 3. Greatest improver could be a boy at a very high level who has made excellent gains, or it could be a boy who was finding a particular area difficult when in Year 3 and who has worked very hard to improve. Either way, congratulations to the following boys:-
Reading:- Jack Gilbertson
Writing:- Phoenix McNab
Spelling:- Joe Ray and Tyler Brown
Grammar and Punctuation:- Daniel-Tane’ Rogers
Numeracy:- Adam Nickalls
Congratulations to Max Wichaidith and Cayden Brown for their projects on Watering Systems (Max) and Mission to Mars (Cayden). Both boys were awarded a prize in the 2017 Griffith University Gold Coast Schools Science Competition and received their commendations at a ceremony conducted at the University last week.
A terrific outcome for these young scientists.
Congratulations to Mitre House and House Master Mr Massey for the very successful Multicultural Marketta held last week and thanks to all of the families who contributed foods for the sale. The Marketta was a great success, with the boys across the school enjoying this special occasion.
Our Preparatory School Houses are very active in raising funds to assist those in need and Mitre House have directed the funds raised towards supporting Cystic Fibrosis. $2,198 was raised on the day.
This week, while not a fundraiser, the boys will compete for the House Music trophy. The House Music competition is always a real event and I look forward to hearing what each House has pulled together for this Choral competition.
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