Quote No.52 from Encourage Yourself Encourage Others by Anne Devine.
What have you done during Lockdown that’s been new to you?
I’ve taken part in a Zoom poetry club and a Zoom Cafe Adler. They were fun and they gave me the opportunity for some new learning. I enjoyed the sense of community and it helped replace the social interaction I’ve been missing! I’ve also been busy sharing and enjoying these positive quotes and the lovely interactions they are creating for me!
Please share something you’ve never done before, something new and different that you’ve been doing!
Mindfully Marie xx
(Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do you see the darkness when you look at this photo or do you see the light?
Do you see people panic buying and paralysed by the unprecedented changes to our daily lives caused by Covid19?
Or do you see ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things to reach out and support one another, in ways not seen before?
This is an opportunity to change our focus,
‘What about me?’
‘What can I do for you? And then realising, what that just did for me!’
We can all do something with the time we are being given!
What are you doing?
I’m working from home, at least until the 29th of March. After that the future is unclear but that doesn’t matter because we only have to focus on this, one day at a time!
I never thought supporting others with their literacy development by phone, e-mail and online could be so fulfilling. I’m finding myself present in somebody’s isolation. I’m a voice and a listening ear. I’m having conversations about the fear this virus is causing. And in the same conversation I’m talking about the power of being connected to each other and its positive impact on mental well-being. I’m highlighting the importance of distraction and the opportunity to set small learning goals…
Taking a break from news updates
and overwhelming media stories,
Setting a goal for this morning
And one more for tonight,
Reading something you enjoy,
Writing the paragraph you just read,
And then selecting two spellings
Breaking them into syllables such as
In / for / ma / tion
Sit / u / a / tion
Then with a sense of satisfaction and achievement,
This morning while cooking breakfast, I noticed the bubbles forming and bursting on the surface of my porridge; intent upon their job. I held onto those air trapped moments, soaking them in! It’s difficult to explain the sensation of absolute awareness that I felt, other than it being a feeling of enhanced appreciation and total bliss. Life was beautiful; just bubbles and me!
How often do you engage fully in the moment? Can you describe the sensation?
Today I would like to share T.S’s very emotive, true story from his blog “Crazywriterof6.” As I read T.S’s distressing reality, I felt my body became anxious. I felt his apprehension and fear. His sense of loneliness and isolation is palpable. He says… “Maybe some of you can relate and see that even then, you weren’t alone”. No child should be in dread every day, isolated and living with the fear of bullying!
In my last post I wrote about the difficulty I had in supporting my children, both victims of bullying, because of the pressure on victims to remain silent. You might like to read it… Big Boys…Don’t Cry!
We now hear in T.S’s own words, his deeply ingrained and debilitating belief as to why he was bullied… “The torture continued. Many moments before this event, many after. I have written some of them out, just to get them out. All this because I was different than the “normal people”, different from what society says I should be. Different because I was overweight”. I believe he was not different… everybody is different and everybody has the right to be respected for who and how they are.
Please enhance your understanding by reading his story…
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?
I enjoyed some relaxing leisure time with colleagues and students on our yearly outing recently. Our trip included time at The Irish National Stud & Japanese Garden. This display of flags represents all the countries that have completed The Irish National Stud Breeding Course. Can you spot your flag here? If you can or if you can’t, please say hello and tell me where you are on the globe? Better still tell me something interesting about where you live?My geography is improving daily thanks to the little map on WP Stats!
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
Today a father and his little son were walking along a quiet street approaching a corner. The little boy, about three years old, made a dash away from his father towards the corner of the street. We were driving towards the same corner. My husband had already anticipated the possibilities and slowed down, well below the speed limit.
I saw the father of the little boy suddenly react. He ran a few steps and grabbed his son by the arm, just at the edge of the path. He aggressively jerked his son’s little arm a number of times, loudly chastising him as we drove past. I thought about how many times I had near misses when my children were young and I could hear my heart beating loudly in my ears.
This child had done something wrong, but he is a child and still learning. The mistake he made could have meant he was seriously injured or even worse, had he actually dashed off the street and onto the road in front of our car.
I thought about who needs to be corrected here. Nobody trains us to be parents. After fourteen years in school we leave without any training or qualification in childcare. But when a parent walks along a quiet street with a three year old child, and pays more attention to their phone screen than to their child, then it’s not the child that needs to be corrected!
So, if you have a near one with your child, think about who needs to learn from the experience and if you’re ready to jump in and chastise your child, think about what message you are giving them…
Instead, I encourage you to calm yourself. Kneel down to their height, hug them to you, tell them you love them. Then look them in the eye and tell them about the fright you got, talk about the rules of the road and about the danger of dashing off the path onto the road and then sit back and think…
Thank your lucky stars that you are still a parent…
and that you still have time to enhance your parenting skills…
because no matter how much attention you give your phone screen…
Google, Ecosia or any other search will not take away the heartbreak or show you how to bring your little son back to life.