Dear SKS Families,

The pictures in this week’s blog show some funny costumes from the Halloween-a-thon and the Pep Rally. Our school should be focused on academics and it is, but I also believe school should be an enjoyable place to be. We had fun last week.

There is also a picture from Monday night’s Speak Up! event for grades 6 to 8 and their parents which was held at St. Colman-John Neumann. We partner with SCJN every year and it was their turn to host. We had a record turnout for Speak Up! I‘d like to thank Martie Bernicker and the many good people at Speak Up!, our Speak Up! Leadership Team of students, our parents, our teachers, and all of our students who attended. For parents of younger children who don’t know anything about Speak Up! and it’s mission, and why we as a school hold this organization close to our hearts, I ask you to go to and watch the four minute video clip. I can guarantee you after watching it you will understand why.

Perhaps the teachers and I could write a book on the middle school years.   Ah, those middle school years…one minute they are playing with their younger sibling’s toy car, and the next minute they asking you for the keys to your car so they can drive it. For those parents who experience your only, or oldest child’s adolescence for the first time, it can be challenging.  For those who have already gone through the adolescent years with a previous child,  you also know that what was true for one child is no guarantee for you the second or third time around.

Your child is no longer your “baby” anymore as they grow into adolescence. The changes they experience physically (hormones/puberty etc.), emotionally, and mentally are well documented.  Their friendships become everything to them and those friendships can change from one week to the next (or sometimes one day).  Their friendships can become more of an influence than perhaps you are.  They want freedom from you. It’s not rebellion per se, more of a signal that your child is growing up, albeit too fast for your liking.

Every year at SpeakUp!, I take away a nugget or two (a term that I borrowed from a parent the other night). Perhaps the biggest nugget to share with you from the other night in my breakout session was this:

  1. Listen more, talk less, and empathize with your child’s feelings. They really don’t want to hear about how things were the same for you years ago, even if they were …or not.
  2. Repeat: Listen more, empathize and understand that your child doesn’t necessarily need or want you to “fix” all their problems. Sometimes just your willingness to listen, tell them you care, and that you are here for them if they want your help is all they need.

Blink once it will be Thanksgiving …..blink twice, it’ll be Christmas. Enjoy all your precious family time together.

Take care,