Learning through Partnerships

Dear Flint Hill School Families,

From time to time, we must seek advice, information and thoughts to ponder from people in our lives. We need that even more as parents while our children are young and under our care. Our children are growing up in a world that is far different from the one we experienced in our youth, and our lives as adults are far busier, more stressful, and more complex than the ones our own parents confronted.

How do we navigate these years? How do we help our children? Let’s be honest, being a parent is one of the most challenging and most rewarding roles we will play. But we must put ourselves aside to consider that childhood and adolescence are the most critical phases our children will experience in their lives. They are learning how to learn, how to stand on their own, how to be advocates for themselves and how to be creative, focused, empathetic, and determined. They are also developing their work ethic, sense of resiliency, grit, character, and confidence. And we, as parents, play a major role in the formation of these important traits.

This process can be overwhelming at times. When Emily and I raised our three boys, we learned quickly how different each of them was from the others. We watched as they had unique likes and dislikes, unique school experiences, and unique friendships, among many other things. For each of them, we had to adapt our attitudes, expectations, and approaches, which, over time, influenced their development. We also learned how important it was to partner with other parents, teachers, friends, and relatives. We even got advice from articles by “experts” in parenting, which also helped us feel less alone in the process and even less judged for the decisions we made. They all provided a sense of perspective on what we were going through. And it was during those critical years of raising three kids, that I developed my love for collecting quotations and words of reflection and wisdom from others. They gave me pause and time to step back and just think. That perspective really had an impact on Emily and I, personally and professionally.

At Flint Hill, I love the fact that we have always taken our partnership very seriously. Through coffees, presentations, newsletters and one-on-one meetings, we work together to share insights, provide forums to consider ideas and experiences and, ultimately, to be there for our parents. We also do some of this internally among our faculty and staff to help them to assist you when needed. Sometimes, the amount of advice and resources available can be overwhelming. To help you in the process, I have pulled several samples to share with you. Our Director of Counseling Barbara Benoit, in her effort to make us more conscious about wellness and mindfulness, sends us all a weekly quotation to consider. Our Division Directors also share links of very interesting articles through their weekly newsletters which are worthy of a broader distribution. Those newsletters are archived on our Resource Board. I hope you find some articles of interest that are helpful.

To aid in our reflection, please take a moment and consider some of my favorite quotations from Barbara’s research:

  • “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Viktor E. Frankl
  • “Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.” — Michael Burke
  • “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the only one who gets burned.” — Proverb
  • “Knowledge is learning something every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.” — Zen Proverb
  • “Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots.” — Rumi

 

The resources around us are almost limitless, which is why it is always helpful to partner with people who can offer direct advice and assistance at times.

Enjoy this week. It is hard to believe that spring sports are now getting underway. Go Huskies!

 

Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster