Message from Tom Babits, head, Primary Division
What is age appropriate? Years ago as a Form 7 form master, I had a boy come in after Christmas with a thick, weathered and torn dog collar. He said, “Look Mr. Babits,” as he showed me the collar with pride. “I found this on our front lawn!” he said. The simple, faded tag on the collar clearly said “Prancer.” He gleamed as he took back his prized evidence. I could only smile.
Childhood naivety is a joy and knowing it will inevitably slip away, we want to hang on as long as possible. Whether it’s the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, or simply the enthusiastic optimistic way they delight in stories or upcoming events, I think it’s great for us to feed it and enjoy it.
When boys are young, it can seem that teenage issues are so distant that there’s a risk we can be too exclusively focused on the wonderful, naive, childhood phase. We need to be cognizant of those issues on the horizon, while still enjoying their bliss as youngsters. Like it or not, it’s a difficult world they’re soon entering, a world drastically different from the one any generation has had to deal with before.
Dr. Power published a thought-provoking piece in his blog, his Monday Upper School Assembly address. It points out how destructive, despite good intentions, gender-defining messages can be for boys. These start at a very young age. Please have a read and click on the link at the end for a short video: https://thepowerpoint.
Parents and teachers worry and fuss over children as we try to exert some measure of control over the influences in their lives (which isn’t easy work). Despite best intentions, again, some of the messages we send may be making life in the future even more challenging for our boys. It’s useful to take a step back and consider this and still be able to celebrate finding Prancer’s collar. Now that is age appropriate.
Thanks for reading,