Coping with change: Lessons from a 12-year-old boy
Master Gerrish has just started high school and while Jane and I are in a spin, Wonder Boy is taking it in his stride. Here are a few lessons he’s brought home.
Find the action and get stuck in
Whether it’s instinct or a symptom of being the only child of a Dad who’d rather slump on a deckchair at the beach than recreate the palace of Versailles on all fours, we’ll never know. But from an early age Jay has sussed that seeking out those already having fun gets results quicker than trying to cajole the reticent.
Befriend older, wiser people
Want to know where the table tennis balls are stashed? Or how to get into your locker when you’ve forgotten the code? The way to get ahead is to stalk those in the know. Hang around tall people in long trousers.
Ask lots of questions
Teachers love pupils who ask questions. I for one know Jay asks lots of them. And yes, sometimes they’re relevant. (Sorry, son.)
"Seeking out those already having fun gets results quicker than trying to cajole the reticent."
Maintain your energy
Eating well, sleeping well and the avoidance of mind-and-body junk food are key to starting and getting through the day.
Try it and you’ll see. Try again, and soon it’ll become second nature. It’s astonishing how habits shift when the difference is felt fast and fully.
Regularly do something you love
When days are dominated by new and challenging tasks, spending pockets of time doing joyous things is the quickest way to lift the spirits and recharge the mind. Might explain Jay’s mean table-tennis forehand.
You only have to walk uphill in the heavy rain a couple of times to realise that planning ahead (and packing an umbrella) is a good move. No matter how fast things are moving, never lose sight of where you are, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
What lessons for coping with change have you learnt from the young?