At the end of every October I briefly find myself to be very popular. People sometimes queue up to visit me and some even take a day’s holiday in order to spend ten minutes with me. Parents of children in their last year of primary school will know exactly what I am talking about: it’s that time of year when applications to secondary schools are made and if one of the two excellent church schools are on the list then I am required to countersign the application form, which I am always happy to do.
Earlier in the autumn I share a session with the headteacher of Speldhurst School where we go through with parents the process of choosing a school. At that meeting I like to conclude with what I consider the most important piece of advice, which is: the best preparation that anyone can give to a child is to ensure that they know that they are loved for who they are and not for what they achieve. It’s easy to forget this in the stress of choosing schools.
It’s also easy to forget this in the stress of Christmas. There’s so much to do and the possibility of so many upsets (exhaustion, difficulties with in-laws, that “must have” gift being out of stock…) that if we aren’t careful we miss the really key thing: it’s about love. Love between family members, friends and neighbours but more importantly the love between God and humanity.
Children who know they are loved tend to flourish whatever the school. Adults who know they are loved by God tend to flourish no matter what life throws at them.
PS I can be contacted at email@example.com or on 01892 862821 or at The Rectory, Southfields, Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0PD.