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January 22nd 2019

Wellbeing Week 2019 at Blackheath High School

This week is our annual Wellbeing Week, which I launched on 21 January 2019 (Blue Monday!) with an assembly where I discussed the futility of trying to have it all. Read more about mental wellbeing at Blackheath High School.

I remembered an assembly from my own schooldays, where my Headteacher told us that we were the generation who would ‘have it all’; we would smash the glass ceiling, enjoying career success our mothers could only have dreamed of – all the time whilst enjoying loving relationships with our equally successful partners and bringing up our rosy-cheeked children. We would meet our equally successful friends in swish cocktail bars and compare notes on how much we are enjoying ‘having it all’. I told of my cynicism that ‘having it all’ means doing it all so sacrifices have to be made. I am the mother who never attended my daughter’s sports days or class assemblies but made it to the nativities (my daughter only remembers the occasions I missed of course!) because I was working, whilst friends who left work to bring up their children made other sacrifices. Real life means that we have to make choices and sometimes those choices are tough, but at least we have choices.

In the evening on 21 January 2019, we held a very well-attended Wellbeing Symposium with experts on online activity, nutrition and wellbeing and teenage issues and it was an opportunity for parents to ask burning questions about daughters who sleep too much – or too little; house rules on screen time; apps to be afraid of – or not; and the perennial how much time should girls spend on homework. It was useful too, to hear from parents with older children who have learned some useful life lessons and could pass them on.

I'm reminded of this quote during this cold wintery week, I'm hoping that you and your daughter will feel the same way: 

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." — Albert Camus


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