Principals Blog - 8 May 2014

08 May 2014

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

One of the most valuable and popular programs we have developed here at Marcellin over the last five years is Time and Space presented in our community by Bill Jennings. This program, run over three years (Years 7, 8, & 9), provides an opportunity for parents and their sons to take time out from their incredibly busy lives to connect with each other in more meaningful ways. The formula is quite simple, the results quite powerful and lasting.

Last Wednesday the Year 7 Time and Space Mother and Son Night was held in St. Marcellin’s Hall. I was amazed and encouraged as I listened to some of the mothers who came along just to help on the night. When I asked why they had come they spoke warmly and enthusiastically about their experience of this night and how they just wanted to help other mothers and their sons to have as positive an experience as they had. Many mothers who had come to this night in previous years spoke about the powerful effect this evening had on them and their relationship with their son. Others spoke of their vivid memory of this occasion and how it had greatly assisted them in understanding their sons’ needs as he made the transition to secondary school.

As I stood by and watched the beautiful interactions between mothers and their sons I was reminded of the responsibility we all have to nurture and develop relationships. We all know that one night at a College event of this nature is not going to future proof a relationship between parent and child. Ongoing dialogue is the key to helping this relationship to grow. Those of us with teenage sons can attest to the fact that this is far easier said than done. However if we persevere and not just accept the monosyllabic – “yep” “na” “good” “dunno” responses which we are at times presented with, the rewards can be wonderfully surprising.

I would like to thank all the mums/significant female mentors and their boys who supported this worthwhile event. Thanks also to Melissa Mackellin, Head of Junior School and the many staff and mums and sons from previous years who came to ensure that this was a positive and enriching experience for all. And thanks to the inspiring Bill Jennings who brings such warmth, commitment and enthusiasm to these events. Such an uplifting night!

Don’t take my word for it. The following are some responses from boys and their mums following previous time and space evenings:

“A great way to see and feel that we’re not alone”
“A fantastic evening and great way to connect with my child at this transition time of our lives”
“The boys were very open and willing to talk”
“Rewarding and memorable”
“Felt more connected to my son than I have for some time”
“It was great to hear other parents’ feelings about the new school experience. Great to listen to the kids' comments”
“We went back over the years & enjoyed reminding each other of things that happened. We laughed, we were sad. It was great”
“The honesty and love that all the boys expressed was very poignant”
“I found it really interesting to hear that other mothers were feeling the same way as I was”

“I found out things I didn’t know about my mum”
“It was a good experience to hear from both sides and get different stories and different points of view”
“We actually talk a lot together but it was good to do this talking away from the family and have our own space”
“I think it was good to express your feelings about your mum and what they mean to you”


Mark Murphy