In this post I tried to share a parent’s exhilaration and gratitude at the sound of a toilet being flushed! I fully understand if you are confused and I invite you to step into my shoes by reading along…ACCEPTANCE!
Have you or your children struggled with the impact of school bullying? How did it impact your/their/your families life/lives? Can you recall the first sign of recovery and how it made you feel?
In my previous post on bullying I shared some listening tips I found helpful Read it here
Another important aspect of listening, when bullying is an issue for you or your children, is listening to what your own body is telling you.
When you are stressed you might notice that you behave in ways that are out of character. Examples could include cancelling a day out with a friend, missing time at work or increasing your consumption of food or drink, as a source of comfort. You might realise you feel anxious and ready to snap at those around you. If this sounds very familiar then self-care is the answer.
There is a well known saying… “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” No matter how tough we think we are, any on-going, distressing situation can wear down our resilience and make us want to run as far away as possible from the upset. I’ve been there, many times, when I felt helpless to improve the situation for both our children. I felt totally stressed and unable to concentrate on other aspects of my life.
Thankfully I realised the importance of self-care. I realised I could not be a source of support to others if I did not look after my own health and welfare first.
To be your best self and function at peak capability, particularly at a time of crisis, YOU need to make time and space for YOU.
I can’t emphasise enough, the importance of that last sentence! Self-care might initially involve some professional counselling support for you or your child. Finding a Counsellor or Psychologist experienced in the area of bullying, and building a positive relationship based on trust, will be the corner-stone to making progress.
Another important part of self-care is finding ways to forget your worries. Part of the reason why I developed this blog and called it “Create Space” was to “create” some “space” for me, to zone out from my concerns, and focus instead on my interests and the positives in my life. This creative space helped me recharge. I forgot my worries and built my resilience!
Try to find what lights your fire, whether it is joining a yoga class or having coffee with a friend. Try a walk in the fresh air if you can’t think of anything that would brighted your day. Self-care will nurture your inner child, lift your spirit, help you put things into perspective and clear your head to enable you consider new solutions.
Remember to practice Self-care! Better still practice “Self-care, times 10!”
I hope you found this helpful or maybe you know someone who might find it helpful. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What happens when you neglect self-care? What’s the last thing you did for fun? How does having “me” time make you feel and why would you recommend it?
I pondered the impact of our thoughts when they transform into words…
As we age, we change how we think, how we feel and how we behave. We drop old habits and seek out new. Enjoy scattering your thoughts…some go unseen and blow away on the breeze but some nourish the ground they fall on.
What thoughts and words have you scattered today? Are they ones you’ll be proud of?
As well as being a poetry enthusiast, some of you know that I am a certified professional co-active life coach. I specialise in helping creatives and aspiring creative clients to access and deepen their creativity, work through blocks and to help bring their dreams, projects and personal life goals to fruition. I cannot tell you what an honour it is to witness my clients transforming in our sessions. It is both a playful and an empowering process and, as you can no doubt tell, I am truly passionate about this work.
Four of my lovely clients have made video testimonials which I have made into an iMovie and can be viewed below. I would be really grateful if you could share this post and my video as of course word of mouth is the best way of people getting to hear about what I do.
In my previous post…Bullying & Beyond…2.Really Listen!…I wrote about the importance of Listening. When somebody, be it a child or an adult, is distressed as a result of bullying, just having somebody who is willing to listen to them can make a huge difference to how they feel. Your first reaction may be to rush in and immediately solve everything but instead be patient and listen.
Here are some simple tips I found helpful,
1.Acknowledge your child’s emotional state -say that you can see how upset, angry etc., they are.
2.Remove or resist any distractions.
3.Make sure you can clearly hear what your child is saying.
4. Focus your attention and concentrate.
5. Be patient, listen to the whole story.
6. Make encouraging, agreeable sounds to show you are paying attention…’mmm,’ ‘I see,’ ‘oh right’.
7. Avoid making judgements – take time to consider before offering solutions.
8. Ask questions to clarify.
9. Keep an open mind.
10. Summarise or sum up what you heard, ‘so the main problem was’ or ‘if I understand properly you feel…’to let them know you understand exactly.
Remember to pay attention to their tone of voice and observe their body language, which can give you insights or hidden messages which they may not be able to voice.
If you agree on any particular course of action or efforts to address the issue, be sure and follow through. Listening needs to be followed up with evidence of action, even if it’s only arranging follow-up conversations. If you fail to follow-through, your child may get the impression that what they have confided just goes in one ear and out the other.
For any victim of bullying, building and maintaining trust is so important and this can’t happen unless you stick to your word.
I hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to share any experience you have had which would have benefitted from active and effective listening.
Alternatively please share some effective approaches you have used. I would love to learn what worked for you.
bravely said “I was bullied for being fat and nerdy and bad at sports. Thank God I could get away from the kids outside of school and escape into books and tv shows. I also found my own hobbies, such as needlepoint. But today, with social media, there’s no escape. That’s the worst ~ I can’t imagine the horror of never escaping the peer group.”
responded with empathy saying…
“I’m so glad for you Paula. It can be so frustrating to live the pains of bullying always, never being able to escape. And isn’t it a silent killer”.
My thanks to both Paula and Parikhit for prompting this post.
I can, from experience, confirm that bullying via social media is as noxious as poison gas, it is a silent killer!
One Christmas while we were enjoying a family gathering our daughter was suffering in silence in the midst of us, as bullies targeted her with vile and upsetting messages on social media. We were oblivious to this happening until our daughter could no longer contain her distress and broke down telling us. Even after the girls in question were reprimanded and made close their social media accounts, the bullying continued because they were able to create new accounts using fake identification.
Social media enables bullies to infiltrate the victim’s home; often the only safe space victims have. Online bullying is omnipresent, affecting children, adults and even Politicians, as we’ve seen during the United Kingdom’s Brexit attempts.
When bullying is frequent and continues over a protracted period it can cripple the victim leaving them distressed and confused. The implications can be life long, leaving them with low confidence and self-esteem, and can cause them intense dislike of themselves for being too fat, too thin, nerdy, shy or a miriad of other perfectly normal human characteristics just because a bully decided these traits were “unacceptable”.
Other sign of distress can include mood swings, anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks, eating disorders, OCD, and finally but not exhaustively, self-harm until another innocent, tormented life could be lost to bullying.
Having witnessed the effect of online bullying I’d like to highlight to parents the distress children feel at, the horror of never escaping from this silent killer.” I’d also like to stress the lasting impact of bullying and encourage parents, adults & society to be vigilant.
Have you or your children been bullied? Did you/they experience “the horror of never escaping the peer group” because of the pervasiveness of social media? Did you watch this silent killer in action?
Teenagers can be notoriously fickle creatures when it comes to creating a lasting bond and getting the best out of them – both for your class and for their learning. One minute you’re everyone’s best friend, and the next, you’re being grumbled about under your favourite student’s breath. What went wrong? To be able to […]
Welcome to Monday’s memory lane where I share an old post…
In this post I considered the word “Measure”…
A common noun, a thing, a word with a lot of meanings such as the size or quantity of something. It can also mean a unit of size or quantity, such as the size of our home or the quantity or amount of friends we are blessed with. Measure can also mean extent, the range over which something extends; its area, such as the ground our home covers or the extent to which we can depend on our friends or them on us. Measure can also mean action taken, law or even be applied to poetry as poeticalrhythm.
So if one word can have so many meanings and mean so many different things, surely, that’s all the more reason to be measured in the words we use and the things we say.
How often do we stop and measure what we are about to say before we rush headlong into saying it without thought of the consequences.
Has life always been measured or depending on your social standing, not measured at all? Are we either highly valued or of no value?
Do we measure ourselves only by comparing ourselves to others? I envy your attitude, your ability to remain positive in the face of adversity. What a measured put-down and denial of our own measure.
Just check out social media if you are unsure of how you measure yourself. To what extent is our success, popularity and acceptance measured by the number of likes, shares, followers and retweets achieved?