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A Message From Administration- Resilience and Nurturing is the De LA Salle Way

At the start of the last school year, we hosted a webinar with two health care professionals where parents had the opportunity to ask questions that were answered on a live internet broadcast. There was a comment that stuck with me that I’ve often shared. 

It was made by Andrew Baxter, a social worker with TeenMentalHealth.org. He said, “The pursuit of happiness is killing us. Good mental health does not mean being happy all the time. Good mental health means having a good day one day, and a bad day on another, and being able to bounce back to equilibrium.” 

Hearing Dr. Sagrati speak this week reminded me of this. 

Dr. Sagrati initially presented to parents prior to the March break. I found her suggestions on how to engage in positive dialogue with our children quite helpful. At the dinner table, I used some of her tips with my two daughters, ages 4 and 8 and they worked great! 

The conversation was a nice change from the usual one-word answers we would typically get when my wife and I ask them about their day. One of the highlights for me was when Dr. Sagrati said that the only way to raise resilient children, is to put them in situations that forces them to be resilient. 

Having attended De La Salle myself, I know that at times it can be challenging. However, I also know that those challenges were what helped me be successful later in life and my resilience played a big role in that. 

My post-secondary experiences were similar to many of our graduates where many rewards were reaped after graduation. Where others complained about 2-3 exams in a week, I found it to be a nice departure from the 6-7 exams I had become accustomed to at De La Salle. I could go on about “the good old days”, however, all I will say is that these experiences are one of the many reasons that I hope that my daughters will get the opportunity to attend De La Salle. 

This week, Dr. Sagrati addressed our students. She provided a resource for both our junior and senior school students. With our junior school, she talked about how to challenge our negative thoughts and manage our emotions. With our high school students, she went through a top 10 list of how to take care of our mental health. 

Among the usual tips of exercise and maintaining good sleep habits, I found it especially helpful to hear her tell our students to observe our feelings, accept them and not try to avoid them, as good and bad feelings are a very normal part of life. 

I’m sometimes asked by parents how we nurture and support our students. The definition of nurture is “to care for and encourage the growth or development of”. We do this by challenging our students with a rigorous academic experience, by teaching self-discipline through our code of conduct, by enabling independence through our high school schedule, and of course through prayer and our religion program. 

These factors and many more contribute to the success of our students when they leave De La Salle. It never gets old hearing from our graduates how prepared they were for life beyond De La Salle. 

Now that things are trending towards a more normal society, we will continue to work towards providing a typical De La Salle experience. For example, next week we will be re-introducing morning assembly. 

While we won’t be packing the auditorium as we did in the past, we will be getting together in groups in the auditorium for morning assembly so that we can come together as a community to sing O ‘Canada and pray together. 

Next week also marks the official start of our spring co-curricular program. These examples, along with other experiences will continue to provide the necessary support for our students so that we can all work together to create that nurturing environment we have all become accustomed to over the years here at De La Salle. 

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever!

 

 

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