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From the Deputy Head – Staff & Students, Patrick Brennan

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“There is no greater suffering than constantly measuring yourself and coming up short. But where do we learn these things? Because, really, they are learned. We don’t come crying out of the womb because of our birth weight or because we have no money in this brand-new world. We learn to measure and we learn to attach our self-worth to those measurements.” Author, Vironika Tugaleva

I like this quote which sums up our inclination to contrast ourselves against others. Students experience this, as evidenced in our Student Wellbeing Survey conducted earlier this year. This psychological phenomenon ‘relative deprivation’ is credited to sociologist, Samuel Stouffer. The quotation above refers to ‘learned relative deprivation’ – always comparing, and always paling in comparison to someone else. It’s pervasive, especially in Western countries, and especially since the rise of social media.

Your son has been hampering for a new iPhone 10 or the latest Air Pod Pro’s released this month. You eventually give in, and he receives this for his birthday. Showing it off to his friends, he is dismayed when a friend whips out his new iPhone 11. He is now disappointed with his new iPhone and considers ways to acquire a new iPhone 11. Similarly; he was very proud of his staged photograph posted on Instagram at Bronte Beach. His friend then posts a similar photo from a party last weekend in the latest ripped jeans he has been coveting.
This ‘learned relative deprivation’ impacts student opinion – their looks, studies, future direction, sporting prowess, performance presence, photographic images on Instagram… Does it have a similar effect on us as well? We encourage you to engage in conversations with your son about this.

We will continue to focus on the character strengths of gratitude, humility, self-worth, perspective, temperance, prudence, humor, and hope as part of our Positive Wellbeing programs, building skills, and mindsets for positive self-worth, growth, and resilience.

Supporting Asylum Seekers

The House of Welcome’s Annual Christmas Party is coming up on Saturday, 30 November 2019. The House of Welcome works with people seeking asylum who are living in the community.
Their Christmas party is an opportunity for their clients to come together and share a day of food, fun, and friendship. For some families, this is their first Christmas in Australia and for many children, it will be their only Christmas gift.

The House of Welcome is currently in need of gifts for the following groups:

  • Babies
  • Preschool-age
  • Lower primary (Kindy –Year 3)
  • Upper Primary (Year 4 – Year 6)

Please, help us to spread the love and joy of Christmas with our clients by donating a new, unopened gift. Gifts can be bought to the Wellbeing Centre before the end of the Term.