I have been writing on the topic of bullying since late last year and I greatly appreciate all the support, encouragement and insightful feedback and comments which I have received to my Bullying & Beyond posts!
In order to access the most up to date information available on bullying and gain some insights and understanding of the Government’s education policy regarding the prevention of bullying, I decided to join a blended learning programme being offered by NABC; the National Anti Bullying Association of Ireland, entitled Bullying Prevention & Intervention Online Course for Teachers. It is a ten week online programme which also includes two face to face sessions in DCU, Dublin City University, St Patrick’s, Drumcondra, in Dublin.
And so, I would like to invite you to share your thoughts with me and in doing so, help me inform my answer to the first question we have been posed…
“What do you think are the greatest challenges teachers face when dealing with bullying behaviours?”
I look forward to your thought provoking responses!
Have you ever expected or wished for the easy path? I know I have on many occasions!
Life is easy if as a parent/teacher your children/students excel at sport, are the high achievers, are highly academic or simply, functioning!
But that’s not always reality and as a parent or teacher you’ve noticed your child/student disengage and opt out of school and fail exams. Your dreams and expectations are fading in front of your eyes. You’re upset, disappointed maybe even embarrassed.
Your child/student ‘should’ be independent, ‘should’ be academic, ‘should’ be functioning… but they’re not!
They’ve just ruined all your well laid plans and you feel bad! Now, spare a thought for how bad your child/student feels and that’s before you opened your mouth and added insult to injury.
So now what?
Well now is the perfect time to review YOUR expectations!
If your child/student had just been diagnosed with a major heart complaint, what expectations would you have? I bet you’d focus on what they can still achieve. You’d admire them for getting out of bed. You’d be pleased they pushed through their health limitations and managed to attend school!
So please, also take mental health into consideration and revisit YOUR expectations . The verbal and non-verbal messages you give your child/student, can be life-defeating when they struggle with mental health issues, bullying or what may even seems like an uncomplicated adolescence.
So if your child/student manages to turn back in for class…
1. Start by acknowledging that there is some issue.
2. Next acknowledge the fact that your child/student is in attendance TODAY.
3. Note the possibility they may not make the grade… but look for the bigger picture.
4. Practice unconditional, non-judgemental love and see the effort they are making, no matter how small.
5. Acknowledge their presence.
6. Recognise their engagement. Tell them you see that they have pushed through their health limitations to attend school and mix with their peers rather than self-isolating themselves in their bedroom!
Now you’ve realigned YOUR expectations! Now you’re telling them they are good enough, exactly as they are!
This approach will help your child/student learn to accept themselves as good enough. They may even let themselves feel happy! This very powerful feeling is addictive and soon they will want more. They will, in their own time, step into the driving seat and begin to empower themselves.
As a parent/teacher, try to understand, what is run of the mill and easy for one child/student, can be very challenging for another child/student. Placing value on their efforts not their achievements can be a game changer. (If you can see no effort, review your expectations again. Maybe just breathing and staying alive is taking all their effort). Love them even more, they need it more!
Watch them as they engage with life on their terms, at the level they are able for, at this precise moment. Now you’re encouraging them to pass the more important and real test – the test that is not the easy path but the path of life!
Have you ever had your expectations dashed? Have you realigned your expectations and seen your child/student flourish?
You can’t beat the sight or sound of a wave, or many waves to wash over you and sooth your spirit. A friendly wave from across the street or from a friend as they drive past also lifts my spirit. Top it off with a hug and you’re onto a winner.
Do waves and hugs improve your day?
Inspired by Calmkate’s Friday Fun – Waves @ aroused blog
‘an intention or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those who are handicapped or learning-disabled, or racial and sexual minorities.’
Have you ever booked a holiday or a mini-break and been very aware of what’s included in the package? Well, I know anytime I’m lucky enough to plan a holiday, I pay a lot of attention to what’s included as part of the deal!
If I’m booking two nights away for example, I like to have breakfast included on both mornings and it’s a bonus if dinner on the first night is included at a nominal cost.
It’s also encouraging if access to a gym or leisure centre is included at no extra cost as part of the package deal, although any of you who know a little about me will have guessed I’ll probably admire the gym from afar and spend more time relaxing in the sauna than strutting my stuff in the pool! But even so, it’s probably fair to say that inclusivity is important to me!
And maybe that’s why inclusitivity is important in other areas of my life. I’m always aware at any meeting or event of the importance of reaching out and helping others feel included. Just like I did at my recent ICASSI in Bonn. You might like to read about my ICASSI experience here Perfectly Imperfect
I seem to have a radar that helps me spot people who are just a little outside their comfort zone and I enjoy helping them feel at ease.
Years ago, for example, I was involved in setting up a local women’s club and a young mother, a non-national joined us. Most people there made polite conversation with this newly settled person to our rural community but none made a point of actively including her. As a result I tried a little harder to include her and I enjoyed getting to know this lady and watching her settle in and make friends as time went on.
Maybe it’s because I find people fascinating, or maybe it’s because I grew up in a three generational home where my Nana also loved being around people and included me in her frequent visits to neighbours and friends in our locality.
Or maybe it’s because I best describe myself as an introverted extrovert…yes, if you didn’t already know it, you can be both!
So, I like my own company and quiet time but I love people, I love being around people, I love getting to know people and I love people feeling included and being inclusive. This is probably because I hate walking into a social situation on my own. I’ve had to push through that feeling at ICASSI recently (as you can read above) and it’s encouraging to have overcome that challenge. But knowing how it feels for an introvert to face a gathering… of more than one person!… is important, as it gives me insight into what it’s like for anyone who finds themselves on the fringes of any social situations. I know, like me, they probably find it a bit intimidating at first until they find their feet!
So next time you consider a hotel break or wonder what’s included in that all inclusive package deal, spare a thought for inclusitivity in other areas of your life and spread a little of your warmth and social inclusion further afield!
Thanks for your company and for including me in your day! In what ways do you like to be included? Have you ever felt excluded? How did it make you feel? Have you ever gone out of your way to include or exclude others?
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since I wrote and tentatively shared my first post about a conversation with a rather unique taxi driver. If you have a chance please read it here… Attitude & Altitude
That post set me up as a ‘Blogger’ and after taking part in my first Adlerian Psychology Summer School Workshop, I wrote about having “Confidence” and if you’d like to learn a little more, you’ll find it here…Confidence
Well, now fast forward almost two years and I’m still here scribbling my thoughts, sharing my feelings and finding answers.
I’ve also taken part in two more Adlerian Summer School Workshops with the ANI (Adlerian Network of Ireland), read about their work here… ANI Clonmel, Ireland and I can without doubt say that together with all the roles any woman juggles on a daily basis, the combination of those and connecting with others through Adlerian Psychology, WordPress Blogging and my work as an Adult Education Tutor have changed my perspective to one of positivity and gratitude and have helped me flourish.
So, I can hardly believe it when, what was merely a dream of mine when I first heard of it last summer, is now about to transpire!…
I have the opportunity to travel to Bonn, in Germany to take part in my first ever ICASSI programme next week. I am beyond delighted and still slightly in disbelief to have been successful in my application for an Erasmus, (a culture & character building programme) through my employer Tipperary Education & Training Board! Information on TETB here… TETB
ICASSI is the International Conference of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes and is the umbrella body of all Adlerian Networks around the world. To say I am excited would be a gross understatement!! 😃🎁!
Actually if I am honest, I am both excited and nervous about this week long trip of personal & professional training programmes. I am travelling solo, not knowing of anyone else travelling from Ireland. When I get there I don’t expect to know anybody either, bar one of the Psychologists (who all give of their time voluntarily to deliver the workshops), namely Karen John, learn about Karen here… Karen John
Karen was my first mentor at my first workshop and she helped me gain new insights which have changed how I belong and become in this world!
My health has been troublesome since Easter but I am hoping the now daily ventricular ectopics and arrhythmia behave themselves until I return home, when I have a Consultant’s review arranged. I’m also very aware of the need for self-care to pro-actively manage my fibro/fatigue by having regular mindful moments (similar to my Just One minute Monday posts) and using my 3 P’s of Pacing, Prioritising and Planning. Or maybe I should change that to 4 P’s and truthfully add Procrastinating!
And so, as I go about my one day today and in a week’s time head away to Bonn I know I have all I need to flourish and thrive in Adler’s Crucial C’s and if you’d like, you can read about them here…Crucial C’s
So time and energy permitting I hope to post some updates along the way! If you have time please feel free to share your thoughts, I’d love your company! If you know of anybody attending please pass this on to them as I hope to get to know some really nice people.