Middle School Students have their L-Plates on while Driving in the Relationship Adventure - Glasshouse Christian College

Middle School Students have their L-Plates on while Driving in the Relationship Adventure



  • May 25, 2023

Middle School Students have their L-Plates on while Driving in the Relationship Adventure

There’s nothing worse than taking a wrong turn on a long trip when you’ve been on the road for hours or have to be somewhere by a certain time and you end up at a dead end! Groan… Despite the navigation tool telling you otherwise or the mud map Aunty Mavis gave you… all that time wasted and the stress of what to do now?!

Relationships can be like this. Recently, parents and teachers were recommended to help young people who were struggling by encouraging them to focus on their positive strengths. They were told to tell the young person, ‘Remember you are good at sports’ or ‘playing the piano’, ‘You’re good at writing’, ‘You’re so fit’, ‘You’re…’. The fact of the matter is that this is a dead-end trip in the building relationships journey!

According to psychologists, Cloud and Townsend, raising self-esteem is most strongly assisted when children feel loved and cared for, not praised for their positive traits. When they have friends who miss them when they’re away; and, who include them when they’re there. Friends who wait for them while they sort out their lockers and get their lunch and who save a seat for them in class or make sure they know to join them on the footy field at break times.

To help children build these sorts of relationships, they first need to have a balanced view of themselves and so Cloud and Townsend recommend the following: Young people need to

  1. Recognise they are made perfectly just the way they are
  2. Accept what cannot be changed about themselves
  3. Acknowledge their mistakes
  4. Accept criticism and take responsibility when things don’t go to plan
  5. Realise that they will not be liked and loved by everyone
  6. Accept the unchangeable circumstances of life

Helping young people to take on these mind shifts may mean guiding them to realise it’s important to accept themselves and the compliments people give. They may need help to learn to forgive themselves when they make mistakes and grow and learn from them. Finally, they should work out what their heart’s desires are and then form realistic goals and plans for themselves so they can be successful, as well as learn to make sure they celebrate their successes.

Young people are learning how to drive this relationship car; parents, teachers, and other significant people are the instructors. Knowing they have their ‘relationship L-Plates’ on in this part of their lives is important for us all to remember.

Jacq Vreeling, Head of Middle School

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