At our recent Alumni Parent Panel, the panelists reflected not only on their children’s process, but on their own process. I left that evening’s discussion with a sense that choosing a Sudbury school education for your children requires a willingness on the part of parents to let go, to trust, to listen. As alumna parent Pat Everret reveals:
“It did make me more aware. It forced me to be more accepting of what my daughter was the way she was… I wasn’t as bent on thinking my way was right, which, I’m guilty of. And I just had to step back and realize, step back and listen… you have to step back and say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, it’s time for me to listen more.’ And I had to do a lot of that growing, I’m still trying to do it. But, you know, you’ve got to give them a lot more… I had to give them a lot more faith than I was inclined to at the beginning. I’m still working on it..”
Choosing Fairhaven School also requires faith and trust in your child, as alumni parent Robin Rice advises current parents:
“I would say, trust your child… I don’t want to sound overly fantastical, but I really believe that every child has a genius in them. And they know how to find it if they’re allowed to find it. And they will tell you what it is… they will tell you what they want and they will tell you what they need. And if you listen they’ll find their way… The more I tried to make my agenda the agenda the less it worked, and the more it worked to listen and follow and trust. And it is hard to trust sometimes, it is hard to trust what you see. But I believe in it.”
I was struck by the ease with which these three alumni parents spoke about their personal process and was pleased to hear how relevant these lessons still are in their unfolding relationships with their now-grown children. From this talk, and a myriad of other interactions with parents, it feels undeniable that parents themselves will grow in one way or another as a result of their child’s education at Fairhaven School. I make this statement with the utmost respect for countless parents who have thrown themselves whole-heartedly into this rewarding and difficult path. As a staff member, I cannot help but be inspired by their willingness.
Staff, Fairhaven School
Follow the above link to the podcast featuring alumni parents (left to right) Pat Everett (Allison Everett, class of 2007), Robin Rice (Richard Morris, class of 2007), and Bill Woodbridge (Zoe Woodbridge, class of 2009 and Eli Woodbridge, class of 2011) .