Happy Friday BSM families,
I hope your week has been as productive as ours at BSM. There has been a hub of activity for our students this week with our Year 7 enjoying a residential at Climb Central Manila over the weekend, our Year 8 and 9 exploring Service Learning, the Year 10 and 11 preparing for their first Retreat in Laguna and our Year 12 IB students excited to start their University application process and the Year 13 developing routine and further focus for the path ahead.
With just under 500 senior students, 47 are new to BSM. I have been privileged to meet many, if not all of them over the last week. They are a delight, really! Interacting with them has been the highlight of my week. Many have come from other countries and some from local schools, each with their own story, each steering their way through Week 3. This time of change and transition is experienced by existing students too, they have said goodbye to ‘old’ friends and now find themselves trying to connect and make new friends. Many of the conversations left me thinking about how we as a school can best support them as they embrace this new life. Whilst I have always known that having a sense of belonging is important, I am now even more convinced that in order to cultivate a sense of belonging we need to understand more about ourselves and our children.
I suspect the excitement of your move is still present in your homes, the new school, new friends and new routines, this coupled with the warm climate and many islands to explore (7,641 to be exact) all making for a perfect life. In fear of bursting your bubble which is not my intention I would like to give you a little information that might help when the honeymoon comes to an end.
Harry Mulisch said “we may travel by jet these days but the soul travels by horseback” and this is true for our new students and families.
Be on the lookout parents in the next couple of weeks if behaviours and attitudes of your children change a wee bit. Leaving behind that which was ‘home’ for a while, whether that be another school, country or friend, can create a feeling of grief and loss, be mindful of this and show kindness, responding with validation that these feelings are normal. Those moments of vulnerability are opportunities to make your children feel loved and secure. Hold off giving them the ‘you don’t know you’re born’ or ‘when I was your age…’ talk for now (there will be other opportunities for that at another time). Instead, guide them through their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and try to navigate their thinking into a more positive place. And remember, these feelings may show up in the strangest of ways – crying for no reason, retreating into their rooms, refusal to communicate, separation anxiety, to name a few. Be patient and remember this time will pass, life will settle and their surroundings will once again become normal. As a side note, take care of yourself, tune in to how you are feeling as the impact of change may also creep up on you.
Many of our children are global nomads, third culture or cross culture kids (TCKs/CCKs) or even a combination of all of them. As the world gets smaller the chances of being a TCK or indeed a third culture adult (TCA) becomes more and more common. Our cultures, traditions, values and beliefs become somewhat blurred for our own children. Despite our best efforts to instill our belief systems, they develop their own and this at times can be frustrating especially when our traditions are not as important to them. However, the collision of cultures, opinions, religions, values and beliefs all help to shape our children and whilst it is important to keep our traditions alive, it is also important to allow them to create their own. We have, after all, chosen this life for them and thus should embrace the open mindedness this gives, along with the amazing ability they have to communicate, accept and befriend others. What a gift!
Life is a cycle and so you will surely end where you started, happy and content with the change!
Have a restful weekend, talk to your children about the things they miss but also about the things they have enjoyed this week and those they are looking forward to next week.
Next week is Week B.