A lot of my friends and colleagues have ventured into pastoral type roles the past few years and recognise the importance of the support they give more often than not as a vocation to our struggling teens.
Modern life is a stressful path for our students aside of the stress of exams they have a lot of what many may see as self-imposed pressure via modern media. However, the emotional pain runs deep for many who suffer with various forms of peer pressure, cyber bullying and body conscious issues.
I am reminded today how we cannot always notice the signs as it is difficult to help somebody who is doing everything they can to hide their feelings. The following simple example explains a lot!
Think of a flower and its roots: The flower is things you can see happening – what people say and do. The roots are things you can’t see – what people feel and think!
Delve deeper, ask the questions and give your children the platform to share they are our most precious gift.
To those in education holding the purse strings invest in our youth they are the future! We need more funding in pastoral departments not staff cutbacks.
For many students this will be the time of year where they are considering their options and university choices. They will be required to write one of the most difficult documents they have probably encountered so far. I am mindful that this is created within 6th form/school and those within the education sector may enjoy and share my thoughts.
Please view my article on Innovate My School’s website which also includes some useful tips-
It has been my privilege to work within the field of dementia and follow on-going research into this particular challenge that so many families are facing on a day to day basis.
As with any medical condition research is vital and the Bio Medical Research Centre at UCLH London support training and resources for research including dementia. Please read their excellent interview with Jonathan Schott on their website link follows:-
During the course of both business and social meetings this week friends and colleagues have all mentioned the value of being listened to in both personal and business environments.
Whatever age we have arrived at in life, and, whatever journey we have travelled to get there we will have times when we need support..although we may fight against admitting it.
During my early morning dog walk (before being glued to the laptop) a colleague and I not only covered many steps but many topics. Both professionals in pastoral and practice mindfulness but ‘mindful’ that our maturity and qualifications enable us to do so whereas others are struggling particularly today’s teenagers/students.
We both discussed the rewards we get when we have a break-through with somebody we are trying to support and how the use of eye-contact, or rather its avoidance, plays such an important part. We have many senses and our hearing being our best gift for those that need to talk and not be judged. Sitting next to somebody, respecting their space and not intimidating them takes patience and consideration..but it’s easier than we think. That’s all part of mindfulness…slowing down and using our intellect rather than our emotions will always be fruitful.
Over the weekend find time to be ‘that friend’ who listens. Please give those you love the platform and opportunity to talk, but moreover the chance for someone to listen.
Those that know me well know I am a music lover always have been. Music can lift our souls, get our feet tapping and motivate us in so many ways. Some say music breathes life into our soul and I tend to agree. Writing for songwriters is also therapeutic and enables them to tell their story.
Let’s be honest those epic films we know and love would be nothing without the music score setting the mood, the drama and emotion.
It is a well documented fact that those people with speech challenges i.e. stammering, their stammer seems to disappear when they sing.
Recently I watched a teacher (Christian Foley) using his amazing ability to rap making his lessons more interesting for his students with great results. It immediately reminded me of an old Welsh History teacher who taught us the Kings and Queens of England by reciting a rhyming poem/song – which to my own amazement I can still recite. Moreover I remain amazed he could recite them himself after a lunchtime tipple which was a regular event in those days.
I use music therapy within sessions with dementia clients to help stimulate happy memories and prompt discussions giving an insight into their lives with beautiful results.
For me life would be impossible without my music, an old fashioned girl; a loft full of vinyl and my little CD player still brings hours of joy whilst studying.
As my mum used to say ‘music gets my motor running!’ How true.
As the new term at schools commences there will be many children and parents concerned about the bullying that sadly exists within schools. Hardly a day goes by when we are not hearing about a tragic account of either face to face or cyber bullying and the drastic affect it has on the victims. Schools and parents should be reminding pupils to take responsibility for their actions and just how dangerous bullying can be when it gets out of hand…banter is only banter when everyone is laughing.
Only this week I was talking to a mother who expressed her frustration in the poor way her son’s school had reacted to her pleas for help. This was also the subject of a phone in today on This Morning TV. Sadly, parents who are faced with a distraught child are often feeling so understandably emotional and helpless that they do not have the energy to fight their child’s corner. In addition they can be met with reluctance by some schools to actually deliver the ‘anti-bullying programme’ they are duty bound to impose.
I echo the advice given today; if your school are not proactive, talk to the chair of governors, local authority or when appropriate the Police. Please read my piece on tackling cyber bullying on Innovate My School’s website:-
The best advice often offered when a child loses a family member or close friend is to give them as much support as possible, but also try to maintain some routine in their life. As with any emotional hurdle your child may need to overcome it is always a good idea to keep their school informed so they too can support your child.
Please read my article on Innovate My School’s website which gives advice on returning to school, seeking help from their school pastoral and counselling. Link follows:-
I often encourage friends and family members, and, of course my counselling clients to stand back and reflect. All too often we think and act with our emotions rather than with our intellect then regret it later.
It is very easy to take one another for granted or even our work and a holiday away can provide us with that essential time to think about what we have, what we have achieved rather than worry about what we perceive as our failings.
Over the weekend, whilst having a break from painting the garden fence (very therapeutic) I watched ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’ wherein one of the characters advised:-
‘Distance lends enchantment to the view’
Indeed putting a bit of distance between ourselves and sometimes our problems or even other people can really make us appreciate the beauty in everything.
That’s a positive thought to start the week on…now to tackle the accounts.
The examination period is finally coming to an end for invigilators and students. It has been a long hot summer for many and I am mindful for all students as they now have the anticipated wait for the results of said exams. You have done your best (hopefully) and remember if you don’t get that first option at university the second may end up being the better option for you in the longer term.
Now is the time to recharge those batteries, wind down and have some fun. I say that with a degree of caution reminding students not to over do things, after exams one can feel run down and it is easy to feel unwell.
I think we have all experienced the holiday flu as our body sighs a relief that it is starting to relax…prime time for bugs to creep in. I am telling myself the exact same things as I wind down for a well deserved break away in Cornwall. The nature of my work, which although an enjoyable challenge takes its toll and I will try to practice what I preach about taking time out to do the things we enjoy.
Packing goodies for my retreat, plenty of treats and good reading material, last three months writers news (never get time to read that!!)..just incase the weather is unkind. Who knows I may even get time to write some poetry – I am inspired by a lovely new writer friend who is a talented writer of Haiku works.
No broadband at my cottage; so off line for emails and away from the blog but will return bursting with energy and full of cream teas!
Keep healthy and be happy fellow bloggers and my lovely followers – life is short so have that naughty ice cream..you know you want to.
To me every day is a writing day but I must confess I love these allocated awareness days that pop up encouraging people to eat certain foods, donate to charity and maybe inspire a new or even a young writer to be creative.
I have always maintained that writing can be therapeutic..so even if you don’t intend anybody to see your efforts getting down your thoughts and feelings is never a waste of energy. For the crazier ones (like me) start a blog and get sharing. I like to think at a certain level some of my posts are helping others to recognise their feelings and, in the case of bereavement, are not alone in the grief.
Of course being a writer, and perhaps adopting a pen name gives one the opportunity to rant to the world and/or live in a time of fantasy where anything is possible.
Naturally, being an olde fashioned girlie I some times frown at how modern technology has to a certain degree stopped people communicating properly verbally but as equally sad writing properly. Let’s face it the best misuse of the wonderful English language is alive and kicking in everybody’s phone’s inbox!!
I know I am not myself if I haven’t written anything and feel almost guilty for missing a day on my blog. Thank you to all those followers who drop me a comment or a like that they have enjoyed or supported one of my daily blogs it’s great to know I am not talking to myself…or at least not all the time!