Our School Council President had some take away messages from our Play is the Way Night he would like to share with parents:

Last week, along with a number of other parents and a lot of our teachers, I attended the ‘Play is the way’ information session presented by Mr. Wilson McCaskill. It was a very interesting and occasionally confronting evening with a great deal of information to absorb. Here are some of the main points that stood out for me:

There’s an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child, not many people live in a village these days. Many of us don’t even know the names of the other people who live in our street. But our school can and should be the village the helps raise all of our kids. It’s not just the teachers’ responsibility, but all of ours.

It’s good to fail. It’s good to let our kids fail. If they aren’t allowed to get it wrong and fail they’ll never build the resilience to bounce back from a setback. As parents we need to support our teachers when they set harder challenges for our kids and realise that just being successful with high marks is not learning.

We need to cut back of screen time, and not just the kids, parents too. Studies have shown babies don’t smile as much now as they did in the past because they are getting less and less quality face time with real life humans. Wilson challenged us to leave our phones in our pockets or bags when doing the school pick up. Put the phone away and have a conversation with your child while you walk home or to the car and be fully engaged with them, not half listening while checking for updates in whatever app.

You can’t expect your child to behave in a positive way if you don’t, even when you think they’re not watching what you are doing they are taking it all in. There’s a bank ad on TV at the moment where the young daughter is playing being on the phone trying to get a home loan and starts swearing in anger when the phone call isn’t going as well as she would like. I doubt the parents intentionally taught her that behaviour.

We need to encourage our children to do right because it’s the right thing to do, not because they’ll get a reward. Help Grandma bring her shopping in from the car because you love her and it’s the right thing to do, not because she will give you Freddo frog.

Assuming we are lucky enough to get another session with Wilson at some point in the future, I strongly encourage you to come along so we can all learn how to help this village raise our children.