Quote No.1 from Encourage Yourself EncourageOthers by Anne Devine.
Today we have reached the end of our journey! And what an enjoyable journey it has been for me. We counted our way down through Anne Devine’s Encourage Yourself Encourage Others and down through the worldwide lockdown.
I set out to share some of Anne’s insightful and encouraging posts and in doing so I found myself less focused on Covid19 and more focused on encouraging others.
Without intention or realising it these posts gave me a sense of purpose during this strange new experience of retreating into our homes to curb the spread of Covid19 and became for me, a source of encouragement, thanks to your lovely company and enjoyable conversations!
So, I hope you will take something away from these posts and “Begin each day believing it will be a good day” as you continue to Encourage Yourself Encourage Others.
To all who struggle with this pandemic or any chronic illness, this is for you, just know you are never alone, you are in the best of company…
It crumbles like sand
Overcome by a wave
Stealing your inspiration
Or your power to investigate.
Physical tasks must be trimmed
Right down to the quick,
Mental tasks tease,
Like a shadows in the sun
Now you see me…
now I’m gone!
So quickly it fades,
From functioning… To falter,
What felt like a good day or good hour,
consumed and usurped,
Leaving you literally stranded in the midst of stuff!
It dehydrates your thoughts,
It punctures and deflates,
She has you caught
Laughs and knows she’s fine,
while she has you there,
Then leaves you short
Refusing to repay the debt.
So does it defeat you
Steal from you and
Rob you blind?
Or can you befriend it?
Mould and adjust it?
Even a little at a time?
Well, those are questions you pose
And repose, numerous times each day,
As you show up to a
Battle that could go either way!
And is there an answer
To this piece of arithmetic?
Is there is vacination
That can do the trick?
Well the answer is as fickle
As the ego, when it’s in full play
And it defies all logic
On any given day!
Sadly it’s more complex,
As it’s catching in your breath
And the answers
at best, are really hit and miss!
Some discovered and uncovered
Are a chumley mix of tricks
Pause… and take a moment, to simply catch your breath…
And with dire warning…
Never, ever, use the words…
“Rest,” my Da would say…
“Hold your horses, sweet Marie”
Now I recall his kindness
and cherish his request
I dismount & recoup
Heeding his bequest!
Then like a flame rekindling,
Though; not as quickly as it faded
With a streak of determination
You saddle up again…
A dawn of inspiration seeps in slowly, like the morning sun
And brings with it a power, to investigate anon and
With a steely determination
So worn and battle weary,
You acknowledge your, position or condition
And face the day quite cheery!
And with the wisdom of any moment, being yet again undone
You accept what you can
And leave the rest…
To all who struggle with this pandemic or any chronic illness, this is for you, just know you are not alone, we are in the best of company!
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 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 in you, 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.
Physical bullying includes pushing, shoving, tripping, pinching, hitting, kicking or any unwanted harm to the victim’s body. Physical bullying can also include having your personal space invaded. It can include behaviour that is deliberately annoying like kicking the chair your child is sitting on, and refusing to stop when told to stop. It could involve damaging your child’s possessions, school bag, or stationery. It can include spitting on your child’s lunch, making sure it is not edible.
Verbal bullying is any name calling or slagging either behind the victim’s back or to their face. It includes vicious gossip or anything said to deliberately undermine the victim’s sense of self. Verbal bullying can be racist or homophobic in nature. Verbal bullying can leave long term emotional and psychological scars.
Exclusion is the deliberate isolation of your child and is a form of relational or emotional bullying which attempts to undermine your child’s social skills and social standing. It is probably the most frustrating form of bullying as your child can try to be physical and hit back or they can try to answer back but you cannot isolate back. This form of bullying can be very damaging to your child’s confidence and self-esteem.
Cyber bullying is the sharing of offensive text or images on a public forum or social media site to humiliate a victim, which can be commented on, liked or re-shared. It need only happen once to be considered cyber bullying. A one off offensive private message does not constitute bullying.
Gesture bullying involves non-verbal communication including facial expressions, hand gestures such as any threatening looks or hand signals meant to frighten and intimidate the victim.
Extortion includes any demands for money or items belonging to the victim. Your child may be forced to hand over their lunch, steal from other students or to steal school property.
Anti-bullying training for teachers that is evidence based and backed by up to the minute research is vital if students are to have access to the best possible education in an educational environment that is bully free.
The NABC, National Anti-bullying Centre in Ireland is providing an anti-bullying programme for teachers working in Irish Post primary schools…read more here and please share…
“The FUSE programme is part of the Department of Education and Skills Wellbeing Framework and supported by the NABC, ISPCC and Dublin City University, and funded by Facebook. To run FUSE in your school and learn more about the programme please visit the FUSE website: https://antibullyingcentre.ie/fuse/ or please contact us on Tel: 01 884 2012.”
Those past five months have been very challenging for our daughter and for us as parents, as she tries bravely to cope with her anxiety. She refuses to give in and her resilience is remarkable. As well as accessing professional health support, she has also started a campaign, to try and set up a Psychiatric Assistance Dog charity in Ireland. Sadly in Ireland while there are guide dogs for the blind and Assistance dogs for autism, Psychiatric Assistance Dogs do not exist.
To understand the whole area of Psychiatric Assistance Dogs, Emma has been busy educating herself via books, blogs, Social Media and YouTube. A year ago, she began her campaign, contacting political representatives and support organisations.
Emma’s campaign is driven by her goal to have legislation enabled in Ireland to give Psychiatric Assistance Dogs equal status to that available to users of guide dogs for the blind and Assistance dogs for autism. Having the company of a Psychiatric Assistance Dog to pre-empt the onset of panic attacks will enhance Emma’s life, allowing her to leave home for the first time in months feeling comfortable and safe as she goes about her daily life.
Emma has purchased a Golden Retriever puppy, which she has named Doris.
It is hoped that in time and with the correct training Doris will be the first recognised Psychiatric Assistance Dog in Ireland. Emma dreams of offering this service of trained Psychiatric Assistance Dogs to others.
To see this goal realised, Emma has also worked unceasingly to set up her website www.candocanineire.com and you can read more of her mission and goals here.
Emma has been in regular contact with the office of the Minister of State for Disability Issues, Mr. Finian McGrath and she has created a petition, which she hopes will receive lots of support and help her have Ireland enact and recognise equal status for Psychiatric Assistance Dogs. I would be forever grateful if you would make Emma and Doris’ day by signing their petition and finding one other person to do likewise.
I hope I’ve attached the petition link correctly, for convenience, just as you’ll find it on Emma and Doris’ Instagram account…
Emma and Doris have also started an Instagram account @dorismakesmyday where they would love you to keep them company as they both document and share their journey towards an Ireland that recognises Psychiatric Assistance Dogs and offers people like Emma who live with a mental health condition access to the love and support of a Psychiatric Assistance Dog.
And we can’t finish without recalling this trailblazer… Andy, Emma’s first dog. Although it broke Emma’s heart (and ours) to let him go to a playfilled future, it had to be done.
Do you struggle with mental health issues? Do you have panic attacks? What do you know about Psychiatric Service Dogs? Do you know anybody who would benefit from reading this post, if so, please feel free to share.