Every quarter, Compass Rose hosts a weekend for parents to come spend time with their daughter, meet the staff, and learn and grow. Each Parent Weekend focuses on a different core capacity of our Growth Model, and this summer’s event focused on Reality. Reality is the ability to hold onto and pursue your ideals while accepting, forgiving, and redeeming the imperfections you encounter in yourself, others, and the world around you. 

Throughout the weekend, Mike Haarer, VP and Executive Director, and Madeline Spring, Outreach Director, led educational sessions covering various topics including an introduction to the Growth Model, the core capacity of Reality, grieving losses, and neutralizing the harsh judge (also known as our inner critic). 

This is one current student’s experience of what she and her family learned during this summer’s Parent Weekend:

“My family’s personal favorite was the session on “grieving losses”. My mom is a “fixer” and tends to feel an urgency to meet my needs and fix my problems. This session really helped her to acknowledge and grieve my losses rather than immediately trying to solve them. It also helped me for my mom to say “I acknowledge that ___ is really hard for you and I am sorry ___ happened”, rather than “lets just do _____ so ____ is no longer happening.” I feel as if our normal human response is to immediately try to solve problems when they come up rather than sitting in them and really acknowledging our feelings related to and caused by the problem. 

Another key takeaway from the weekend for me personally was the kintsugi art project. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.  This activity helped me to acknowledge that showing others our brokenness is beautiful, and in order to gain support to overcome our weaknesses, we have to bring them to light and share them with others. That concept is always something that I personally struggle with because I feel as if our natural human tendency is to hide our struggles into the darkness, rather than bring them into the light.”

These weekends are often one of the highlights of the Compass Rose experience for our families, and we look forward to our next Parent Weekend on September 21-24 which will focus on the core capacity of Competence.