Relax, Rejoice, Reflect and Re-energise, and let’s look forward to 2021 with optimism

The three Rs is a concept that is well-known in children’s education as reading, writing and arithmetic (okay, two of them don’t actually start with an r when you write them, it’s  just the way you pronounce them, but 3 Rs rhymes nicely). There is an extra r here, making it four Rs – with each  r standing for something completely different.

In this rather challenging time, with the pandemic still lingering around, one of the Rs – “rejoice” , is something that some will feel as not as appropriate   as  is normally the case at this time of the year. This is because  Christmas time – call it the festive period if you wish – is a time when all of us usually find a way to indulge ourselves, irrespective of our religion, belief or no belief.

As a parent of teenagers who are growing up very fast, when I managed  to think a little about this Christmas time, one thing that came to my mind was whether,  in a few years’ time, these two young people may decide not to spend Christmas with us, as they will have a life of their own. I know most young adults will still go back to their parents at Christmas, which could be due to kindness or the way the turkey tastes when their mother or father makes it.

The idea of these teenagers becoming adults and leaving home is part of the growing up process and one just has to accept that is the reality of things, which I think, for all of us, will be a mixture of sadness and joy…

Let’s just leave all the emotions aside for a minute, and bring this back to the nuts and bolts of education, school, exams and all that. As a way of helping our teenagers – some of whom may be facing GCSE and A-level exams in the summer, one thing I will recommend is a conversation with your son or daughter this Christmas. This is not necessarily about asking them to spend all of their time studying, as that’s unrealistic. Actually, it’s unrealistic at other times anyway, not to speak of Christmas.

If, for a moment during the break, we could all manage to get away from our electronic devices and just speak a little about the year ahead, the notion of “Relax, Rejoice, Reflect and Re-energise” applies to the teenager as well as it applies to us adults.

Relaxation during the Christmas break is very important – especially for those who are taking exams in the summer. The reason is that there are three more holidays before the summer exams – February Half Term, Easter and May Half Term. The one that is more likely to be used extensively for revising for exams is the Easter break, as it is longer than the other two and its timing is reasonable. There is an added benefit this year, as the Easter break starts about eight or so weeks before the summer exams start – this is taking into account, the late start of this particular summer’s exams. 

There is no need to get them too anxious,   just to find a way to gently put it to them that they should relax and, at the same time, reflect this Christmas. The amount of relaxation they do is up to them to decide, as it can be difficult sometimes to get the balance right. Relaxing does not mean that they have to forget about what is important in the coming year. We all need energy to do whatever we do and the way to get new energy, as opposed to potentially negative energy, is to relax and reflect on the progress we have made so far. This way we are able to rejoice, at least a little, and identify where and how to allocate our energy for the tasks ahead.

I think the idea of relaxing, rejoicing, reflecting and re-energising can prove to be handy for us as parents and also for the teenager.

Below is a link to one of my past blogposts about the notion of relaxation and energy during Christmas break.

Enjoy the festive period and a Happy New Year in advance. And, by the way, do not forget to Relax and Reflect! Your comments would be much appreciated.

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