Mother Son Breakfast


Thanks to all those Mums and their sons who got out of bed early and braved the rain to be part of the Annual Westlake Mother Son Breakfast. We hope you were glad you made the effort!

The extremely popular and positive occasion was enjoyed by 480 Westlake Mums and their sons and offered all Mums and grandmothers in the room a fitting start to Mothers’ Day weekend. Guest speaker, former Parenting Place Creative Producer and seminar presenter, John Cowan commenced his presentation with a number of Mothers’ Day gift suggestions which were, as Head Boy Blake Nicholson acknowledged, well received by many of the young men in the audience!

The Westlake Rowing parents and students did an amazing job providing a particularly appetising breakfast and waiting services. Impressive raffle and spot prizes were provided by loyal local supporters including Spencer on Byron Hotel, ASHLEY & CO, D3 Tape and Unichem Sunnynook. Sanitarium and The Yummy Fruit Company were also, once again, generous supporters of the event.

Guest speaker John Cowan handled the sensitivities of the evolving relationship between mothers and their sons with wit, wisdom and the odd dose of solid advice. John’s twenty year experience of speaking with parents of teens was evident as he punctuated his entertaining presentation with a few key facts:

  • Males and females are different
  • Great results are realised between the genders when we are able to honour our differences and “work with the grain”

John’s messages for Sons:

  • When it comes to doing what it takes to show your respect for your Mum – be courageous i.e. “feel the fear and do it anyway”
  • You and your Mum share “creepy brain stuff” so she is the one person who knows you better than anybody else on the planet – this means that you won’t be able to get away with much, if anything … even if you think you do!
  • Your Mum likes you … a LOT!
  • Mum will probably never get some aspects of your humour
  • Your Mum is proud of you!

John’s messages for Mums:

  • You know your boy SO well … or at least you DID! Boys change and change and continue to change – do your very best to stay connected and keep up. They need you to be there for them and understand them.
  • Parenting is like planting a garden with a pack of unmarked seeds … parenting isn’t about shaping your son, it’s about discovering who he is and nurturing his development into the best version of himself. It is your gardening skills that will develop his character – his values and behaviours but you can’t decide what he will be and become.
  • If you want to retain your son’s respect – talk to the man! Drop the “Mum” tone! Listen to yourself and speak with respect. Don’t back down on expecting that he be accountable for his actions and choices. Treat him like an equal
  • The teenage years are tricky for boys – he’s trying to prove that he can survive without you, while underneath he still wants and needs you
    • Don’t take his “fend off” actions personally while he is focussed on the BIG job of becoming a man … you can be an ally, or you can be a pain! It’s YOUR choice.
    • Boys may need your support to show them the way in controlling anger and expressing emotion. Support them as they navigate the minefield of their emotions. When they stuff-up (and they will, they’re human!), make them accountable but DO NOT shame them … focus on the lessons and on the future.
    • Boys are OK! In fact boys are GREAT!

    Deputy Headmaster Steve McCracken and Headmaster David Ferguson added a personal flavour to the event by reflecting on the ever-evolving and always treasured relationships with their own mothers. Recently appointed Westlake Girls Principal Jane Stanley was a special guest at the breakfast accompanied by one of her two Westlaker sons, Jordan, a member of the current teaching staff.

    The Annual Father Son Breakfast and Grandparents’ Day events are coming up in July and August respectively. With ticket sales for the Mother Son Breakfast in such high demand unfortunately a few families missed out so keep an eye on Daily Notices on the website, and the weekly Headmasters News for information regarding ticket sales for the 2017 Father Son Breakfast on Thursday 6 July and Grandparents’ Day on Friday 4 August and get your tickets early!