Principal's Message


Much is written in both educational and parent journals about the importance of well-being and ensuring that students mental health is supported, maintained and actively addressed. A leading child psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg has written many books, conducted thousands of parent forums and presented his research at numerous conferences and had for many years a regular spot on Sunrise on Channel 7.  I have had the opportunity to hear Dr Carr-Greg on a number of occasions and I share some of his work with you. 

Statistics show that the psychological health of children is far worse today than a generation ago. In fact, one-quarter of young Australians report experiencing symptoms of mental illness. That is a particularly scary statistic. The major concern for young people include stress, school or study, body image and depression.

So how do we help our kids with these serious issues? Dr Carr-Gregg recommends immunising children against risk factors by building resilience.

Resilience is defined as a capacity to face, overcome and be strengthened by adversity. Instead of shielding children from adversity there are some key characteristics we can try to promote in our children to encourage resilience. 

These are:

  • having a charismatic adult in their life from which they can draw strength. This may be a parent or could be another adult who is a positive role model for them
  • developing social and emotional competencies such as how to solve problems, manage anger etc usually by modelling such behaviour yourself
  • teaching positive self talk for improved confidence and self-esteem
  • islands of competence- find something that interests them, where they get positive recognition from their peers. In other words help them to find their spark, whether it be an interest in art, music, dance, drama, sport, etc.
  • spirituality- children that are bound to a belief system feel a sense of connectedness and part of something bigger than themselves.

Dr Carr-Gregg also speaks about common mistakes parents make with their children:

  • Not saying No- you need to make it clear who is the boss
  • Not setting limits and boundaries- for sleep, diet, social media, etc
  • Not monitoring peers
  • Not being the world expert on them (know what is going on their life)
  • Not having rituals and traditions
  • Not communicating properly
  • Giving them everything they want
  • Not keeping them busy
  • Not letting them experience adversity

In the next newsletter I will share what as a school we will be doing to support students with building their resilience and skills to deal with social situations.

With kindest regards

Anna Cindric