My name is Erika Rath and I am the Director of Student Services at the Sacred Heart School of Montreal. I want to thank you in advance for reading and partaking in this forum that will be featured approximately twice a month on the school’s website. The goal is to hear different points of view on various topics that will ideally help our students by enriching their lives in and out of the classroom.

How will the forum work?

First, I will read an article that discusses educational trends regarding female students. Then, I will post my opinions, ideas and suggestions on the highlighted topic with the hope that many of you will engage in an online conversation with the Sacred Heart Community. This is a place for you, the reader, the parent, or even the student to share your own opinions, strategies and tools that may or may not have worked.

I am proud to say that I have worked at this school for the past 7 years in various capacities and am truly honored to call this place my second home. Come join me on this journey of reading, writing, laughing and learning, because by working together we can help our students Be Exceptional.

How Can We Encourage our Children to Step Out of their Comfort Zone?

Articles that inspired the blog post:

The 7 Secrets of Motivating Teenagers

School’s out and summer is upon us. It is time to enjoy the nice weather, catch up with friends, and take some time for ourselves. Summer is also about trying new things and perhaps getting out of our comfort zones. One of the newest trends is called microadventures which are just short, simple, and inexpensive adventures that are filled with fun, excitement, and challenge. Alastair Humpfreys, named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the year, says, “all we need to do is get outside, step out of our comfort zone, go somewhere we’ve never been, do something we’ve never done.”

Throughout the course of the year, we have all been guilty of spending too much time sitting, looking at our computer screens and texting our friends. Changing up our routine over the summer and introducing something challenging that takes place outdoors, away from technology, is a good way to introduce ourselves to the great outdoors without breaking the bank. 

“Adventure is only a state of mind. I believe that adventure is about stretching yourself: mentally, physically, or culturally. It is about doing what you do not normally do, pushing yourself hard and doing it to the best of your ability.” 

It can be difficult to motivate teens to try new things when just getting them out of the house and off their phones can be one of the biggest challenges, but there are ways to encourage them. First, it’s important to notice what they might be into. If you notice that your daughter likes painting, perhaps invest in an easel, some good paint brushes, and a canvas. Another way to be encouraging is to say yes. If your daughter comes to you with an idea, you can try to be more open to it. Another way is to try to do more activities together to show your daughter that you are also open to trying new things and challenging yourself. She might not always want you to tag along, but she’ll be appreciative that you were open to trying. 

Trying new things is important for building positive self-esteem and for having strong mental health. If your daughter doesn’t have summer plans, encourage her to get involved at the community level by volunteering. She might find some outdoor work and meet new people.

Teenagers often long to participate in something that interests them and that they feel has a purpose. “Teenagers long to feel significant. They want to demonstrate to themselves and the world that they matter and are capable of making a difference.  Many of the problems teens encounter today is because their desire to be significant is ignored or diminished.” Finding a challenge or microadventure that appeals to them might take some time, but getting their input and letting them discover what they like or are good at is part of the process. 

Hopefully by the time school starts again, your daughter can look back on her summer and remember all of the fun and rewarding things she tried. You never know, she might develop a skill or passion during the summer that will continue throughout the year.

No matter what you have planned, I wish you all a wonderful summer full of family, friends, and good times.

And remember to wear sunscreen!

Happy Reading!

Erika Rath, Director of Student Services
514-937-2845 ext. 121