Quote No.64 from Encourage YourselfEncourage Others by Anne Devine.
Have you had times during lockdown when you were unsure of what to do? Did you consider it from different angles and seek advice from others? Were you able to “Trust that things will work out in their own way and in their own time.”
Yes, just like the photo, lives have been turned sideways, and upside down. But, we are resilient and we can adjust!
If you are lucky enough to be able to visit a beach, share your photo or link in the comments below. If you’re in lockdown and can’t visit a beach, don’t be afraid to dream up one!
Find a photo of a recent trip to the beach on your phone or better still dust of an old photo album and find one there. Memories are powerful! Relive those memories, smell the sea, hear the sounds all around you. Share what you recall, with others in the comments below or with those present around you.
Life is sometimes choppy, sometimes calm. Find the calm today and encourage others to find the calm too!
Mindfully Marie xx
Anne can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s mental, emotional and psychological health damaged not only in the short-term but often into the long-term.
Lives are lost, too often, to bullying. Children unable to cope with the torture inflicted on them by bullies sadly see no way out, other than to take their lives.
I might be writing this from Ireland and this story may refer to Yarraka Bayles, a boy on the other side of the world but the location is irrelevant… bullying is bullying and this is the reality for another child and another family. It is a horrific, upsetting reality.
This bullying is focused on dwarfism. But if it wasn’t about dwarfism it would be about anything else the bully decided they didn’t like about their victim such as their weight or even their accent. Take a few moments to educate yourself and then take a few moments to educate your children… because this is a reality that is totally avoidable and it is a reality no child or parents deserve!
The turning point came, the day I learned to accept our son John’s inability to attend school or to live a functioning life. His life had become dysfunctional because of school bullying. I shared some of the backstory in Bullying & Beyond… Painting the pain, part three.
Learning to accept his dysfunction as a result of bullying, was a slow process but it was the catalyst for change which allowed him to break free of his dysfunction and move forward with his life. I shared that in Bullying & Beyond… “Acceptance”, Love & Time.
Our daughter Emma also suffered at the hands of bullies and sadly we are, to this day, still dealing with the aftermath.
It has been a struggle to stay strong and be resilient. It was often one step forward and two steps back.
But yesterday I remembered the power of acceptance and I let go resistance. I see yesterday as two steps forward and one step back and that is progress, it is a sign of change to come…
We got half way there when Emma could no longer contain her anxiety.
Yesterday was our second attempt, the first attempt we achieved about a third of the journey so yesterday there was progress.
But the biggest progress for me was remembering my ‘acceptance‘ of John’s dysfunction, thanks to the reminder of my Psychologist to let go ‘resistance,’
I was able to make peace with this event and love Emma for herself. She did her best. We did our best. We sat in our car, in a service station, having a coffee while Emma took a short walk and some air. We made peace with the situation. We were truly grateful and expressed our gratitude for that time, that moment, having coffee, having family time, living life to the best we can.
We turned for home with no regrets or upset or shattered expectations but with happy hearts and later last night, Emma announced that she wants to try again next Saturday!
This exhibition means a lot to Emma. She adores Doris Day and that entire era. She is training her dog, named ‘Doris’ after Doris Day, to be the first recognised Psychiatric Assistance Dog in Ireland. She is pushing politicians to recognise this existing EU law, in Ireland. It is a slow process. I would love you to give her some support as she shares her IG account at dorismakesmyday.
If you are relatively new here, thank you for reading. Thank you to my regular readers for your comforting presence as we journey and learn life lessons together. Your company makes all the difference.
This is a photo of Emma and Doris taken in the run up to Christmas
Doris has grown quite a lot in the past few months…
but so has her amazing mum Emma…
Emma shared her photo to her Instagram account. Emma’s growth from this journey is evident in what she wrote about being relentlessly bullied in school…
If you have experienced school bullying or your children have or are being bullied, don’t despair, there is always hope and because we’ve been there and have grown from our experience, we know you too can find peace and move forward with hope!
In Ireland, the Department of Education & Science, (DES) gives clarification on what constitutes bullying using social media:
‘Placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour’ (DES 2013: 9).
In contrast, one-off incidents of negative behaviour, such as isolated hurtful text messages and private mails, which cannot be viewed or repeated by other people, are not considered to be included under the definition of bullying.
The fact that the internet provides anonymity can have particular consequences
for cyber bullying. Being able to act and communicate anonymously online removes
some of the deterrents that would help prevent children from getting involved. The fear of negative consequences is lessened for the perpetrators and it increases the psychological distance between them and their actions. The perpetrators can therefore refuse to take responsibility for their actions. In most cases, cyber-bullies know their targets, but their targets don’t always know the identity of their cyber-bullies. This can lead to children and young people being suspicious of, and alienated from, all their peers.
The fact that the distinction between bystanders and active participants can be
less distinct in the context of online bullying also makes cyber bullying more difficult to
deal with than traditional offline bullying.
The bystander effect refers to incidents where an individual in need of help is not assisted by an onlooker because the onlooker assumes that someone else will intervene.
Responsibility for bullying often goes beyond the person who creates and posts harmful content online. Sharing, or commenting on content on social networking websites or joining, subscribing or following online sources of content
intended to humiliate or harm individuals can also be considered bullying behaviour.
I hope you found this post helpful and that you feel confident in defining what cyber-bullying is and what cyber-bullying is not.
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.
Have you ever considered what bullying is, and what bullying is not?
In Ireland, the Department of Education’s definition of bullying is “Unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.”
Therefore there are 3 important flags to watch out for in defining behaviour as bullying behaviour, namely…
1. There must be INTENT (DELIBERATE)
2. There must be an IMBALANCE OF POWER
3. It must be REPEATED OVER TIME
However there is an exception in that it is deemed a cyber-bullying offence, if a child is bullied just once, via an open social media platform; where hurtful information or images can be reshared.
I hope you found this post helpful and that you feel confident in defining what bullying is and what bullying is not.