Mealtimes … Nourishment for the Family!

Many parents today have strong memories of the evening ritual of eating a family meal around the dinner table together. Whether it is memories of the vegetables we disliked and tried avoiding, or the stories shared by other members of the family that gave us a good laugh, these times stand out as significant and influential. 

Fast-forward to the 21st century I’m sure we can all relate to the challenges associated with trying to bring the family together for a regular mealtime. The pressures of balancing family commitments with school, friendships, sport and other activities can be challenging and even overwhelming at times. Whilst we are in the midst of a time of change in many of our lives as a result of COVID-19, this is the perfect opportunity for families to be intentional about reinforcing the tradition and importance of mealtimes.

As with all things, we need to consider the value and benefits from a shared mealtime in considering its priority in our life. Considerable research in recent years, primarily in America, has been conducted with a specific focus upon the importance of family mealtimes.

Research  conducted by the National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (2011) found that children who eat regular meals with their family are at a lower risk of developing poor eating habits, weight problems and alcohol or substance dependence.

One of the largest federally-funded studies on American teenagers specifically highlighted the benefits associated with student academic success and improved psychological health as a result of regular family mealtimes together.

A growing movement operating out of Harvard University – “The Family Dinner Project” – highlights the value of a family meal together in its research conducted over the past 15 years. Their studies reveal that family mealtimes help to build vocabulary in young children. Conversations around the dinner table can improve children’s language development and assist children to become confident readers. In addition to this, mealtimes are a training ground for social skills and manners, which is something that is slowly being eroded away in today’s world.

If family mealtimes are as valuable as research is suggesting, how do we go about making them a special time where memories are formed? Trying to set aside one night or morning a week to sit at the table together for a special meal might be a good place to start for your family. Research suggests that a minimum of three times per week is most beneficial.

Eliminating distractions and developing some ideas and strategies for making these times together both successful and enjoyable is the key. Perhaps encourage your children to help with the meal preparation or have a special theme for the meal once a week such as a Barbarian dinner – eating the meal with your hands only!  It might be having a special pancake breakfast together on the weekend, which could turn into a weekly ritual. Encourage your children to share with you stories from their day, highlights and lowlights and be willing to share your life stories that may help them on their journey. Using the time to talk about their friends and activities that are coming up can also be valuable. Having pictures or photos at the meal table can be great conversation starters with your children when discussion doesn’t come easily. The key is spending time together and making it both memorable and fun.

Mealtimes together bring stability, closeness and comfort to families and as the research is suggesting, this simple ritual can have a significant impact upon the development and wellbeing of your children. Enjoy sharing in mealtimes together and allow them to contribute to the health of the whole family.

Paul Sterling

Principal

 

 

Pastoral Care

Hello Parents! Welcome to Term 2! A very different term for us all I know, but one we will never forget, I am sure! I …

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Pastoral Care

Hello Parents!

Welcome to Term 2! A very different term for us all I know, but one we will never forget, I am sure!

I wanted to take some time to say hello, to let you know that we are all thinking of you and your families and to encourage you in this really unique season. It’s important to remember that all seasons change or come to an end. Rather than just thinking about it coming to end, let’s think about how we can make it count – make it a time full of great memories. Memories that you can treasure forever and that your children can reminisce on as a great adventure that they share with their children in years to come. I think one of the best ways we can do this is to focus on each day as it comes, not thinking about the failures of yesterday or the anxieties of tomorrow but what treasures are waiting in our day today.  

There is a beautiful reminder of this principle in the bible in Matthew 6:34, where it says,

“Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.”

Here are few things you can do to focus on today that will go towards creating great memories for you and your children in the years to come.

  1. Make today your own. It’s so easy to feel the pressure of all of the tasks we must get done today. What our children must learn today, trying to measure up to what we think is expected of us or what challenges or troubles are going on around us. However this can often lead us and our children to feeling emotionally and physically drained, frustrated and overwhelmed. A fun idea to start each day with is to sit down together as a family and plan out the day’s events. Come up with a plan for the day that includes time to get the tasks done, time to learn together, time and activities to have fun, explore and creates memories as a family. Don’t forget to schedule in time to relax and rest. Doing this means that at the end of each day, while there will still be challenges, there will also be fun memories for your children to remember for the rest of their lives.
  2. Don’t compare. When we compare ourselves to others we use a lot of energy that could go into making our day, family and life the best it can be. Rather than looking at what other families are doing or achieving each day, think about putting your own unique stamp as a family on your day and what you are achieving. Focus on your own unique strengths as a family, how you have fun, what you love to do and what makes you happy.
  3. Fill the tank. Our children need the best version of us each day in order to flourish. It’s so important that you make time to manage your own energy levels, to do things to fill your tank, emotionally, mentally and physically so that you have something to give each day to your children. Most children are happiest when they just have your love, time, presence, affection, listening ears etc. So, if you are energised yourself you are more able to be present for them. Rather than focusing on just the tasks ahead, spend time connecting with your child.

Parenting expert Michelle Mitchell and Psychologist Karen Young have some wonderful insights and encouragement on how to manage your energy levels and connect with your children emotionally each day for better learning.

Here are a couple of great resources:

Please remember that if you need any assistance or support during this time or if you are concerned for your child’s well-being, we are here to help! Please do not hesitate to contact the Pastoral Care team if you need a listening ear or some advice. We also have collated many resources for you and your children on different topics that are relevant to every day family life at the Genesis@Home Care Hub. Please access the Care Hub here.

You are all in your thoughts and prayers!!

God Bless,

Louise Klar

Head of Pastoral Care & Growth/College Counsellor

Share a Glimpse of Your Genesis@Home

Share a Glimpse of Your Genesis@Home Now that we’ve all had a little time to adjust to Genesis@Home, we would love to have a glimpse …

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Share a Glimpse of Your Genesis@Home

Share a Glimpse of Your Genesis@Home

Now that we’ve all had a little time to adjust to Genesis@Home, we would love to have a glimpse of your day. This would be in the form of a photo or two, showcasing your child/children hard at work.

A few possible ideas could be:

  • ANZAC Day – If you have taken any photos of your family’s commemorations on the day or making wreaths for the celebration
  • Mother’s Day – Making a card, picture or gift for mum, or even preparing breakfast on the morning
  • Online Music Lesson – A photo of your child/children taking a lesson with their teacher
  • Sport and HPE Classes – A photo of your child/children engaged in a prepared activity
  • Genesis@Home – A photo of your child/children completing their school work
  • Virtual Cross Country Challenge – A photo of your child/children competing in their sports gear.

Students could also send in information and or a photo on:

  • A random act of kindness for example:
    • Sent as “Dear Kindness Diary, today I made a cake and gave it to …….”
    • or “I painted a picture and gave it to ……”
  • A “COVID-19 Time Capsule” – What were some of the best things, most challenging things etc.
  • Shared prayers that were prayed by our students and families

Please note: By emailing any items to our Marketing email, you are aware and give permission that these may be used in Genesis printed material

It is always good to be aware when you are taking a photo of what is in the background and foreground, good lighting, students in appropriate clothing etc.

Please send to  marketing@genesis.qld.edu.au

Thank you for taking the time to share with us a snapshot of your Genesis@Home – here’s a glimpse of learning at home so far!

 

ANZAC Day 2020

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down …

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ANZAC Day 2020

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. Lest we forget.

Although we couldn’t be together for ANZAC this year, it didn’t stop us commemorating this important national event.

Our Primary students on campus created poppies in class to decorate the courtyard memorial stone. Year 6 students also had the opportunity to make wreaths in class and participated in a wreath laying service at the memorial stone, while maintaining social distancing requirements. We also uploaded a special video to our Primary Instagram page made by Year 6 students.

Secondary students made poppies, and Year 10 student Joseph Arro played the last post. The Library has an ANZAC display which is also decorated with wreaths and poppies.

Along with many Australians across the nation, Genesis students and their families commemorated ANZAC Day from their own homes this year. Through our online ANZAC Day Facebook event, we were able to share the different ways our community participated in ANZAC Day events. Families shared videos of students playing the last post, posted photos of their Driveway Dawn Services as well as sharing creative home-made lanterns, poppies and wreaths.

Uniform Survey

Last term our College community was notified of the request for feedback concerning additional options, specifically for the Secondary girls’ Formal Uniform. Please check your …

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Uniform Survey

Last term our College community was notified of the request for feedback concerning additional options, specifically for the Secondary girls’ Formal Uniform.

Please check your email for a link to a College survey which opened on Monday 20 April and will close Friday 1 May, 11:59pm to provide feedback on these options. The survey results will allow the College to make an informed decision based on the College communities’ feedback. The survey is only short and we would encourage members of our community to participate.

Please be reminded that samples of the garments are on display in the window of the Robert Schoenmaker Library.

We thank you in advance for assisting us with the feedback.

If you have not received your email, please check your Junk/Spam folder as the survey was sent from ict@genesis.qld.edu.au 

If you have any questions, please contact us on 3882 9000 or email admin@genesis.qld.edu.au

Kind regards,

The Uniform Committee
Genesis Christian College