Resting in Relationship

Blog Home  |  June 22, 2018 by Willowstone Academy  |  no comments  |  From the Office

We did it!

We finished our 2017/18 school year at Willowstone Academy! And we finished well together!

With a heart still swelled with pride and eyes still damp with tears of joy, I am already reflecting on some of the highlights from this morning’s Year-End Awards Ceremony:

  • A powerful performance of “How Great is Our God” sung by our children in 9 different languages, representing the beauty of our inclusive and diverse learning community.
  • Special violin music from our talented quartet.
  • Recognizing our phenomenal educators and staff – we have the best team around!
  • Honouring every, single student for their individual growth and improvement this year. They are all so amazing and have worked so hard!
  • Celebrating our Spirit of the School recipient, Ben Hare, for his outstanding contributions to our Learn Forward community.

Your child worked hard this year! And summertime is a time to rest and integrate that hard work and growth.

For many working families, the 9-5 grind continues right through the summer months, so we need to consider what rest and integration look like in the context of our real world.

I’d like to suggest that the best thing you can do this summer (and always) is to hold a space for your child to rest deeply and fully in the relationship between parent and child.

At Willowstone Academy, we are huge fans of Vancouver-based developmental psychologist, Gordon Neufeld, and his world-renowned work on attachment theory. In his book, “Hold On to Your Kids”, he writes, “For a child well attached to us, we are her home base from which to venture the world, her retreat to fall back to, her fountainhead of inspiration. All the parenting skills in the world cannot compensate for a lack of attachment relationship.

In the 5-minute video clip below, Neufeld expands on the idea that “all growth emanates from a place of rest”.


Here is the good news: resting in an attachment relationship isn’t another set of tasks to add to your never-ending “to-do” list. While there is always work to be done around growth, ultimately the work of forming attachment relationships are a way of being that transforms connection, restores relationship, and solidly roots your child’s potential for lifelong success.

This mindset is a shift from the behaviour-based parenting style that many of us were raised in. The attachment approach to parenting is rooted in relationship.

Over the years, our Chief Learning Officer and founder of our Learn Forward philosophy, Karine Veldhoen, has shared some wonderful ways to cultivate relationship with your child. Our school’s Learn Forward philosophy recognizes relationship as the roots that allow the five most important journeys of a child to flourish.

Karine recently shared her personal parenting transformation after reading Dr. Deborah MacNamara’s book, “Rest, Play Grow”. We highly recommend MacNamara’s book if you would like to learn more.

Another valuable Learn Forward resource for relationship-building this summer are the  “Learning at Home Provocations – Indoor Days”, which provides you with ways of engaging and reflecting with your child in order to deepen your connection.

Whatever your schedule is and whatever your struggles are, we want you to know that “You’re doin’ good!”. We know that every parent in our school is doing the best that they can with what they have.  You love your child deeply. Parents, when you take good care or yourself and rest in relationships that nourish you, you then have the capacity to provide your child with a place to rest in your love.

May you be blessed with a summer filled with resting in the relationships that matter most.

Making Learning Visible,

Heather Sandager, Admissions Advisor