PA President 2014-15
August 26, 2014
Dear Branson Parents:
With the start of the academic year, I find myself contemplating our children’s road to college.
I just returned from dropping my middle son Tycen (Branson '14) off for his freshman year of college. Like most of you, Steve and I have planned for this moment since the day Tycen was born 18 years ago. While I have feelings of excitement, happiness, and pride, I am also feeling sentimental and a bit sad. With our oldest son Erik (Branson ’12) back at college, I am adjusting to the “new normal” of only one son at home (Caleb is a member of the class of 2017).
Tycen’s move-in day included a session warning “helicopter parents” (I’m sure they were referring to the parents in the row behind me!) to step back and let our children fail and experience set backs. Only by letting them do it on their own, would our sons and daughters develop into independent adults, they argued. These ideas were percolating in my mind as I read Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character on the plane home to San Francisco. Tough, a journalist, uses academic research to buttress his argument that character is more important to success than good SAT scores and a high GPA. Tough’s book, which is the Branson Parent Education Committee’s recommended reading, gave me a lot to think about. I look forward to exploring with you how we, as parents, can we support Branson’s teachers, administration, and staff to help our children to become young people, and ultimately adults, of character.
Have a great start to the academic year – I can’t wait to get going. This is one of my favorite times of year –books to be read, lectures and discussions to be had, new friends to meet, and friendships to deepen.
So, here’s to a great year – let’s work together to build children of character!
Parents' Association President, 2014-15
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