“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.

Bullying-All-Alone

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 →

42% of kids report having been the victim of some form of cyberbullying reports Family Internet Safety Advocate, Sue Scheff. In the past decade, parents and educators have become increasingly aware of this staggering statistic, and bullying prevention programs have been written in response. But there’s a fault in these programs.

 

Saying STOP Is Difficult To Do

This is the crux of the problem. We tell our kids that being a bystander is just as bad as being the bully and that they should stand up to cyberbullying, but we don’t teach them how to do this. And the truth is that this is very, very hard to do—as an adult and as a kid.

My Own Brush With Cyberbullying

I’m a freelance writer so last year, after my twelfth wedding anniversary, I wrote a neat and tidy article, “12 Things Happily Married Women Know.” The comments that came in on it weren’t about marriage, they were about my weight and how fat I looked in my wedding dress. I was devastated. It took me months to move past this sadness and get to a place where I could call out my cyberbullies and stand up for myself. When I did, it was in a second article, “I Wrote An Article About Marriage And All Anyone Noticed Is That I’m Fat.” In it, I said two simple things: don’t talk about other people’s bodies and let’s be kinder to each other online. That article went viral and from it, I landed a book deal for a book on how to teach our kids to be kind online. Some days I call this “just desserts.” Other days I call it, “taking lemons and making lemonade.” 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.”

Black Dog Institute

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 →

Your vision will become clear when you look within

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“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

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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 →