Whether you are a staff, student, or parent, one of the best times at Compass Rose is Parent Weekend. Our quarterly parent weekends are designed to be intensive but fast-paced, challenging but fun, and vulnerable but rewarding.
We’ll miss seeing our families in person, but we are thankful for technology that allows us to still host virtual Parent Weekend amidst the global pandemic. This weekend will focus on one of the four areas of our Growth Model, bonding.
The capacity to relate to God and others, to connect to something outside of yourself. All of life’s tasks rely on this ability. With it, you are never left without a way to meet your needs.
During the weekend, parents and students will have the opportunity to participate in:
- Special music from students
- Family therapy sessions
- Fun therapeutic videos from staff
- Parent group
- Live stream church service
Between sessions, families are invited to check into virtual “meeting rooms” to be able to have casual, unstructured conversation as desired as they would during an in-person Parent Weekend.
We are looking forward to interacting with our parents and students during this virtual, winter Parent Weekend.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about is how powerful the idea of “reframing” can be. We may be overwhelmed with the idea of loss, thinking of all the things that won’t be the same over this holiday and the parties that will be canceled and the things we won’t get to do. With some “reframing” we can begin to think about how canceling some of those parties, that can actually sometimes feel like an “obligation,” can free up our time to be present with our immediate family. Being “stuck” in small groups can actually help us to be more attentive to the ones around us. Instead of going to a party that Great Aunt Jean insists on having every year even though everyone dreads it, now we just get to put on our pajamas and watch Elf or the Mandalorian or 60 Hallmark Christmas movies in a row.
A friend of mine just shared a story about how he didn’t get to see some extended family over Thanksgiving, so his nephew called him to say hi instead. This ended up turning into a really significant and meaningful conversation via phone that they probably wouldn’t have been able to have if they’d been in someone’s home surrounded by nosy aunts and uncles, a blaring television, and rambunctious kids playing hide-and-seek in the living room.
With a little reframing and a determination to stay present in the here-and-now with the ones in front of our faces, we may actually find that this holiday season lends us more time for rest, enjoying the moment, and sharing it with the ones we love the most.
–Mike Haarer, Vice President and Executive Director of Compass Rose Academy
The national conversation is so full of criticism and negativity that it can be difficult to find opportunities to express gratitude. It’s easy to forget what we have when we’re aggravated by outside forces. Busyness distracts us, and struggles let us down. Worry reminds us we’re not in control, and pain can cause faith to feel distant. However, God grants us hope by giving us a choice to choose gratefulness.
Gratitude allows God to do more than transform our situation, it lets Him in to transform our hearts. Giving praise grants God power over our struggles and reminds us that He is the ultimate force for good. We can then thrive in His peace as we let go of the troubles that hold us back.
Creating a grateful home begins with parents. As our hearts become filled with gratitude, our teens can learn from our example, allowing gratitude to give them the hope that transcends earthly distractions and aggravations. Here are some tips to begin cultivating a grateful home:
Seek opportunities to serve with your family.
Whether it’s a kind favor for a neighbor or a mission trip, serving acknowledges that we can always give what we have. Serving gives us a purpose outside of ourselves. This will also foster nurturing relationships that teach teens to be thoughtful and encouraging to those around them.
Teach praise in prayer.
As you pray with your teen, remember to express thanksgiving to God for all that you have been given. Although it’s easy to ask God for things, we often forget to thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed. Praising God as you pray with your teen models gratitude and turns the focus on all He is doing in your lives.
Acknowledging the efforts of others fosters active participation in gratefulness. Teaching teens to express gratitude to others diverts attention away from self and onto the good in other people. Lead by example and vocally affirm what you appreciate in your teen.
Positive thoughts combined with action allow us to position ourselves toward a stance of gratitude. Sharing this outlook with teens shows them how to thrive through their pain. God can be praised in every moment; Thanksgiving is not merely a holiday but rather a reflection of our hearts. Every day provides an opportunity to create a grateful heart, and a grateful home.