Parents are the key decision maker when it comes to sending students on a Year 10 Israel program. Whether your child attends a Jewish day school or not, you will be the one who gets them on the plane. Going overseas for six weeks, to the other side of the world, is a big thing for any 16 or 17 year old, so they need more than just approval from mum and dad. They may need a little push to overcome any nerves. We have put together our top five tips for parents, to help ensure your child takes this amazing journey.
Talk through their personal fears
It’s normal for them to feel nervous about going away on the trip. For some, they will be unsure from the moment it is raised, while for others it might only kick in just before they head to the airport. You need to remind them that others are feeling exactly the same way. The great thing about being part of a group is that the shared nerves and excitement, quickly bond a group.
All levels of knowledge are catered for
The programs are there to educate students through first-hand experiences. It doesn’t matter if your child’s knowledge of Judaism or Israel is great or small, everyone is catered for. Each program is designed for participants to learn and absorb at their own pace.
Be prepared to push a little
Even the most excited kids go through a phase of uncertainty about going. Many past participants have said they did not want to go right up until boarding the plane. Without exception participants say it was the best thing they had ever done. As a parent, you may need to give them a little push. Rest assured you are not on your own and we are sure you and they will never regret going.
Focus on what they are gaining
Participants often worry what they will be missing out on while they are away; particularly social events. The key is focusing on the incredible journey they are about to undertake. It is a unique formative time in your child’s life; a chance for them not just learn and bond with others, but to grow as an individual. Talk through any obstacles your child may believe are in the way, and emphasise this truly is a once in a lifetime experience.
Make an effort to meet up with other parents
There is every chance you may already know other parents who will be sending their child, so try and catch-up with them and talk through any issues or concerns. Where opportunities arise have your child meet up with other participants on their program. It will be reassuring for them to hear what others might be experiencing in the lead-up and what they are looking forward to. Seeing familiar faces will always be a comfort in those first hours and days on the program.