High school is a time of transition from child to adult. Here is the poetry of a former NSH student that beautifully captures the complicated feelings of adolescence:
Safe in the nest,
protected at all times,
soon the sun will rise and the time will come.
Should I stay close,
with the opportunity to fly back when trouble arises?
Or do I fly to the stars,
encountering obstacles at every turn?
When I read these words, I think about the tension between wanting to stay where it is safe and familiar, and choosing freedom, with its potential risks and rewards. For our young adults, autonomy is exciting and compelling, but the responsibility and uncertainty that comes with it can be frightening, too.
As parents, we worry: Will our children be ready? Are they learning to make choices that lead to healthy lives, positive contributions to the community, and personal fulfillment? Are they strong enough to withstand setbacks, injustice, or misfortune?
The reality is that the passage of time and the mandates of nature will prevail. Our children will grow up. And as much as we would like it to be otherwise, we cannot ensure their happiness. This they must find for themselves. Something we can help foster, however, is the development of a growth mindset, which is discussed frequently in Advisory and Health classes. This weekend, please ask your student to describe growth mindset and why it is important for a person’s well-being. As parents, encouraging growth mindset is a powerful way we can demonstrate our confidence that they will thrive when “the sun will rise and the time will come.”