My message to kids who bully other kids is:
You know it’s wrong! What’s really going on? Try not to make somebody else’s life miserable because you are.
– Joe Nichols
Let me begin by saying that I detest the ‘Bully,’ label. Bully is a loaded word. It provokes an emotional reaction of some kind to any person that you mention it to. From outrage to fear, everyone has an opinion. Bully Vs Victim, simple right? I disagree.
For me, this is not simple. Varying levels of light and shade must be considered if we are going to be successful in helping to reduce incidents of nastiness in schools. For a child to carry the label of bully is akin to a prison sentence that will haunt them for his or her school career with little chance of parole. To have the bully label surgically thrust upon you implies that it is a fundamental part of the person that you are, it’s who people are therefore expecting you to be. What a burden for a child to carry. To say that a child is displaying bullying behaviour is so much more positive because behaviours can easily be changed and disposed of so it gives everyone involved hope for change.
I am one of these really irritating people who holds the belief that there is good in 99% of the population and often in places that we are not expecting. My mission in life has always been to try and identify with people and find common-ground. I love words and believe that good quality communication, partnered with love and an attempt at understanding, can help to ease any situation. As a parent to four beautiful babies, I have found this to be extremely challenging at times, as I will explain. read more →
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.”
– Mother Teresa
In September of 2007 Jon Linton began gathering imagery to document the homeless on the streets of Phoenix Arizona. That Fall he had volunteered both time and resource at a local homeless shelter to better understand the circumstance and plight of those without a place to call home. His project took shape, when the first man he photographed wept as he asked him his name. “You have no idea how long it has been since someone cared to ask my name”, he stated.
Through the course of this journey Jon has met many souls that through a bad set of circumstance, addiction or mental illness find themselves without a door to walk through at day’s end. They had fallen into what some had referred to as an “Invisible World”. The I Have a Name Project is a humble attempt to bring dignity and humanity to those less fortunate among us.
Jon encourages you to go out and help another in need. He says your soul will thank you and reminds you to always practice compassion with these 10 tips that will help you better understand how you can help someone in need.
What You Can Do To Help The Homeless
1. Respect the homeless as individuals
Give homeless people the same courtesy and respect you would accord your friends, your family, your employer. Treat them as you would wish to be treated if you needed assistance.
2. Respond with kindness
We can make quite a difference in the lives of the homeless when we respond to them, rather than ignore or dismiss them. Try a kind word and a smile. read more →
“People bully to distract themselves from their own issues.”
When I was younger I was a little naive. I thought that once you get out of school, everyone suddenly grows up. I thought that everyone would learn how to put aside petty differences and just get along.
Wow, was I wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth. Getting older – that just happens, but growing up is a choice. And some people don’t actively make that choice.
After finishing school, I got my first full time job. Everything was going great. I had made some new friends and was enjoying my time. Then my co-workers found out that I was from the “wrong side” of town.
They started to leave me out of conversations and other things that they were doing. Soon my co-workers started to make unkind remarks and verbally attack me. At the time I would have preferred it if they just kept leaving me out.
I was only 18 so I wasn’t really sure about how to deal with it. I was also in shock that it was even happening. After all, bullying stopped when school finished, didn’t it? read more →
The best time to pause and take a moment to
breathe is when life is most frantic!
– Lisa Currie
It began as any other ordinary day, but in the end I would never view M&Ms the same way again.
We had finished our hustle and bustle through the Saturday mall traffic and I was bagged. Two kiddies under 6 in toe always make for an eventful shopping adventure. I vaguely recall the days when I could whip into a store and purchase a dozen items in less than 10 minutes. Now getting a pack of gum takes a monumental amount of time, with all the bathroom stops, people gazing, and general ‘squirrel’ attention-span dilemmas.
Busting, or rather grunting, our way through the ever-shockingly heavy glass doors, I catch a glimpse of the car in the distance and a sense of freedom finds me. “If I can just get there and sit for a moment, I’ll be fine,” crosses my mind. I can tell Liam of 6 and Nathaniel of 4 are feelin’ it too, because the whining is just beginning to peak.
We make it, barely it seems, and the boys scramble up and in. I strap littlest man into the 5-point space seat and make my way to home plate behind the wheel. “Safe!” read more →
Mindfulness is a meditative practice that involves learning to pay attention to the present moment with an attitude of openness and kindness.
If there was a way to potentially help kids pay better attention, exercise more generosity and kindness with their peers, perform better in school, and be more aware of themselves and others, would you try it?
There is increasing recognition of how social, emotional and cognitive functioning are intermingled; that kids may have difficulty in school when emotional challenges arise which in turn impacts learning.
Can you imagine how it could shift the climate of our schools, our community, our world, if cultivating these qualities was at the forefront of education? read more →
What is the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
Have you ever been asked to do a task – maybe you were starting a new job – and you believed before you started that you wouldn’t be good at it? Maybe you thought to yourself, ‘I am not going to be able to do this,’ only to try it out and realize that your fears were correct? This is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. A sociologist named Robert K. Merton created this term in 1948 to describe ‘a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true.’ In other words, the prediction we make at the start of something affects our behavior in such a way that we make that prediction happen.
Since studying it for my BA, The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (SFP) has become a concept that frames my entire life. It is the way that I understand the world. It feeds in to the way that I react with myself and others. It’s the important concept that changed my thinking forever. It is the premise that the way that we think of ourselves, and the way that others think of us moulds us. It is vitally important because it can directly affect the way that we experience the world.
If I believe that I can, then I can. If I believe that you can, it helps you to believe it too. read more →
“For around one in seven women the stresses and emotional changes that accompany their postnatal experiences can be intense and include strong depressive mood swings, anxiety, social withdrawal, irritability and loss of enjoyment in usual activities.”
I had dreams of being a mother since I was a young girl. I was going to tenderly brush my child’s hair, bake cookies with them, take long walks to the park and just be unexplainably joyful with them in my arms.
Reality hit when my first child was born. After a long list of complications and a week in special care we brought him home. I was unable to walk properly after dislocating my hip during labour and I struggled to feed him due to the pain. My dreams of the perfect home coming with my baby were clouded by screaming, pain and exhaustion.
After a diagnosis of postnatal depression I started seeing a specialist who helped me with a range of strategies to move through this stage. I didn’t realise how bad things were until I started seeing the light. My gorgeous baby was making amazing progress and he was growing so quickly. I was so motivated to get support and started researching natural therapies to help me.
These are the main strategies that helped and continue to help me after also having postnatal depression with my second child. read more →
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”
– James Baraz
Over the Easter holidays, I found myself sitting in the car with my two nieces, aged 4 and 10. We were driving down the country roads, windows open, sitting quietly – which was fairly incredible in itself as they’re noisy little munchkins and normally chatter for England.
The little one is a bright button of a thing – completely open and readable like a book, full of energy and a brilliant sense of the ridiculous. She’ll probably rule the world one day and then you’ll all be wearing tutus for breakfast, just wait and see.
The older one is not quite so simple. I think of her as a searcher. She’s always reading people, reading situations, gauging her response. The world is already a confusing place for her, and it can be heart wrenching to watch her trying to navigate through it. read more →
The best things in life are free!
Memorable days with your child needn’t cost the earth and often hold a lot more value when you use a little imagination and are prepared to step out of your comfort zone.
Here are 7 ways you can connect with your child, honor their unique self-expression and strengthen the parent-child bond without spending any money.
1. Let them dress you up and style your hair.
And if that’s not your thing, then they there’s always a massage, giving dad a shave or painting mom’s nails!
This exercise offers both parent and child the opportunity to tap into each other’s experience. Parents are reminded how it feels to have their hair yanked while being brushed or told what is and isn’t acceptable to wear. Children discover that taking care of others requires patience and kindness.
This activity allows us to reconnect with empathy and invites us to slow down and be fully present.
2. Play restaurant and make a menu or write a recipe book.
This is a wonderful opportunity to develop natural reading and math skills. Perhaps you have some special family recipes you can make together or pop in a home made recipe book. Use the internet to search for new healthy, yummy recipes to cook for your loved ones. Who knows, they may even become the new family favorites! read more →
When I was young, I loved to listen to stories. I would urge my mother to tell me about my maternal grandfather, who went to be with God long before I was born.
She told me how my grandfather had been a wealthy man in the late 1930s. He owned a few trishaw (a bicycle with a sidecar that’s powered by the cyclist) companies and rented out his numerous trishaws to generate a passive income.
Grandfather was unfortunately quite naive and trusted his employees to take care of his affairs. A lack of business acumen led him to be swindled out of his fortune and businesses by his so called “trusted” associates.
Long story short, grandfather lost all his financial assets and hit rock bottom. He was living with his aged parents, wife and four young children and had to support them as a sole breadwinner. In that darkest period of desperation, he had no choice but to earn a living by being a trishaw rider with the only trishaw he had left. read more →