Good things are worth the wait. After a hiatus during the 2021–2022 school year, Rowland Hall’s princiPALS are back in office, ready to help families understand the preschool and elementary years and offer tips on how to raise children who thrive.
In addition to a new season, princiPALS is proud to present a new pal: Beginning School and Lower School Assistant Principal Brittney Hansen ’02 has joined Emma Wellman in the role first held by former Lower School Principal Jij de Jesus. (Jij is now Rowland Hall’s director of capital giving.)
“I’m very excited to join the podcast and help members of our community, and beyond, understand that they have support when it comes to raising young children,” said Brittney, who, in addition working as an educator, is a parent of three preschool- and elementary-aged children. “I truly understand the challenges of parenthood and believe we’re all in this together.”
For me as a parent, it’s time to recommit to giving my kids opportunities to struggle productively—to giving them chances to take risks, to get messy, to feel disappointment, because I know that that’s what they need. We couldn’t give our kids many of these things during the pandemic years, but we owe it to them to get back to this. They really deserve it.—Brittney Hansen ’02, Beginning School and Lower School assistant principal
In the first episode of season three, Emma and Brittney, along with host Conor Bentley ’01, revisit the topic covered in the podcast’s very first episode: resilience. Recorded in fall 2019, princiPALS’ inaugural episode was designed to help parents and caregivers learn what resilience is and how to build the skill in their children. But not long after the episode was recorded, the world changed. As COVID-19 quickly spread, parenting began to look completely different, and our overall tolerance for risk—a necessary component of building resilience—was dropped to make room for safety measures.
Thankfully, we’re now living in a different phase of the pandemic—one that’s ideal for caregivers who want to recalibrate their parenting strategies, including introducing the kind of risks that help build resilience in children.
“During the height of the pandemic, we forgot that it’s actually really good and important for kids to do things that may feel unsafe, like walking to a friend’s house, or going into a store alone, or, for really young children, even navigating something like a tall staircase by themselves,” explained Emma. “This is an important part of childhood.”
Join the princiPALS as they revisit what resilience is, discuss how it’s built in children (and how adults can keep their fears in check while building it), and remind listeners of the many benefits of this life skill—like tenacity, endurance, adaptability, and purposefulness—that make the work worthwhile.
“For me as a parent, it’s time to recommit to giving my kids opportunities to struggle productively—to giving them chances to take risks, to get messy, to feel disappointment, because I know that that’s what they need,” said Brittney. “We couldn’t give our kids many of these things during the pandemic years, but we owe it to them to get back to this. They really deserve it.”