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A time for change

By Abbey Krause, Mediator

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It’s that time of year again; the sunny days are becoming shorter, people are actually talking about Christmas, and you look at the calendar and realise its months until your next holiday. It’s not all doom and gloom! If you live in Edinburgh you’ll recognise the vibrant colour and energy that the Festival brings and that familiar sound of fireworks just as you’re dropping off to sleep.

It’s August. Which means the Scottish schools are back in session. Long lies, lunchtime breakfasts and days spent hanging out with friends are a distant memory. Some of you might actually be relieved to get some normality back to your life, after all, 6 weeks is a long time to fill.

For those of you who sat exams the celebrations or indeed commiserations will be put to one side and many of you will be thinking about the new term and what will happen next.

“School” and “The Future” can mean some difficult conversations in families. What subjects are you taking? How many? What level? What does your time table look like? What are you going to do when you leave school? And that’s just the half of it. School is about so much more than what grade you get in Maths.

Many of you might be really happy to be back at school because it’s where you get to see your friends and summer can be a long and boring time. However, some of you may not be so excited to see people at school. Friendships and relationships can be tricky and sometimes it can be difficult to figure out where we fit and who our true friends are.

For some it may be a brand new start in a new school. The move from primary to secondary is a huge step; new people, new food, new place, new uniform, new subjects, new teachers. It’s a lot to get used to. It can be an exciting time, a fresh start and the move marks an important shift in your life. It can also be a daunting experience where many feel unsure and worry about the unknown.

Of course some of you may not be returning to school at all and moving on to other adventures such as college, an apprenticeship, university or maybe employment. Perhaps you haven’t quite worked out what to do next and feeling the pressure of what to do about “the future”.

August is a time of change. It’s important to remember nothing stays the same for ever. If things do become difficult or relationships become strained there are some things you can do to make things a bit easier for each other.

If you’re a parent or carer

“School” and everything that goes along with this – friendships, homework, staying out, and “the future” can be really stressful for everyone. Talk to your young person, show them you care and want to understand. Let them know you are there while also giving them a bit of space to figure things out.

If you’re a young person

There can be so much going on with school, expectations, new situations, it can be stressful for everyone. Your family are probably worried about you. Talk to them explain what’s going on and what you need from them to make things a bit easier. Remember school might have changed quite a bit since they were there! So help them to understand.

What other things can we do to make conversation about school and the future a bit easier? If you know someone struggling with “school” or “The Future” get in touch!

Abbey Krause, Mediator

Abbey is a mediator, conflict resolution practitioner and trainer working in Scotland since 2009 with experience working with families, professionals and communities. She believes in the strength and imagination of everyone to shape their own story and have a different conversation. Abbey loves mountains, remote islands and food. She is a parent to twins which has been the best and hardest thing she has done with her life so far!

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