Its been a while since my last blog, I’ve been caught up looking after my kids over the Summer holidays and truth be told, it hasn’t been easy to get time to myself to sit down and write. So this time I’ve decided to include them in my blog. With school now starting back in less than 3 weeks, its a good time to check in with your kids and see if there is anything they want to tell you about school. What do they dread or look forward to, about going back to school…
Insight to a 7 & 8 year old
I decided to have a chat with my 2 daughters a few weeks ago about bullying and I recorded what they had to say, it is all very off the cuff as you can see. If you want to view the video you can see it by clicking here. Please note one of them whispered ‘I’m going to make this funny’ at the beginning and out of ear shot, so there is references to farting etc.. kids will be kids 🙂 Even though I’ve been coaching them over the years I still think its an insight to a child’s mind and encourage you to do the same! Also today I decided to ask them what they like most and least about school. I didn’t record it but it was interesting. I was told various things that I hadn’t heard before. I know they are on their summer holidays, but now that we have some distance from school, I think its easier for children to open up and talk about any problems or difficulties they’ve had.
Insight to a 3 year old
In addition, I also asked my 3 year old son Logan a few simple questions, you can see his responses by clicking here. This is a much shorter video just over a minute, but I thought it was interesting that his first response is ‘hit them back’… and that’s the natural first response at his age. For him bullying is physical, when in reality as kids grow up, so often it can be verbal or psychological – like being ignored.
Controlling our thoughts
The bit about bullying that is most interesting to me, is how we respond mentally. I have been speaking to a School Principal about bullying and this is the essential part that is missing from the education system – how to cope mentally. And whilst I’m thrilled children in Secondary School will have more mental health education, I think younger children need to learn early on how to control their thoughts. Mindfulness is helping and becoming more popular (thankfully), also I think as Parents we need to educate our children. Letting them know that a thought can be ‘let go of’ and forgotten about, or they can do the opposite – keep thinking about it over and over again (re-living it and getting upset again and again). We think we have no control over our thoughts, that what we think about is automatic, but the truth is we really do have control, we just have to learn how. The younger we learn this the better. You will hear my daughters mention ‘water off a ducks back’, which is a very simple tool I use to help children and teens to imagine other peoples mean words flowing off them, not taking them on board. It can be used in all types of situations, and for us adults too.
Why not check in with your children and teens and see if they have anything they want to talk about before the next school term is upon us again. Give them some quiet talk time and the chance to open up.
If anyone needs help for their children or teens in controlling their thoughts, bullying or other issues, please get in touch. From my family to yours, enjoy the rest of the summer everyone.
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