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13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do

2 years ago · · 0 comments

13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do

Amy MorinContributorPsychotherapist and international bestselling mental strength author

Raising mentally strong kids who are equipped to take on real-world challenges requires parents to give up the unhealthy — yet popular — parenting practices that are robbing kids of mental strength.

Of course, helping kids build mental muscle isn’t easy — it requires parents to be mentally strong as well. Watching kids struggle, pushing them to face their fears, and holding them accountable for their mistakes is tough. But those are the types of experiences kids need to reach their greatest potential.

Parents who train their children’s brains for a life of meaning, happiness, and success, avoid these 13 things:

1. They Don’t Condone A Victim Mentality

Getting cut from the soccer team or failing a class doesn’t make your child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are part of life. Rather than allow kids to host pity parties or exaggerate their misfortune, mentally strong parents encourage their children to turn their struggles into strength. They help them identify ways in which they can take positive action, despite their circumstances.

2. They Don’t Parent Out Of Guilt

Guilty feelings can lead to a long list of unhealthy parenting strategies — like giving in to your child after you’ve said no or overindulging your child on the holidays. Mentally strong parents know that although guilt is uncomfortable, it’s tolerable. They refuse to let their guilty feelings get in the way of making wise choices.

3. They Don’t Make Their Child The Center Of The Universe

It can be tempting to make your life revolve around your child. But kids who think they’re the center of the universe grow up to be self-absorbed and entitled. Mentally strong parents teach their kids to focus on what they have to offer the world — rather than what they’re owed.

4. They Don’t Allow Fear To Dictate Their Choices

Keeping your child inside a protective bubble could spare you a lot of anxiety. But keeping kids too safe stunts their development. Mentally strong parents view themselves as guides, not protectors. They allow their kids to go out into the world and experience life, even when it’s scary to let go.

5. They Don’t Give Their Child Power Over Them

Kids who dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner, or those who orchestrate how to spend their weekends, have too much power.  Becoming more like an equal — or even the boss — isn’t healthy for kids. Mentally strong parents empower kids to make appropriate choices while maintaining a clear hierarchy.

6. They Don’t Expect Perfection

High expectations are healthy, but expecting too much from kids will backfire. Mentally strong parents recognize that their kids are not going to excel at everything they do. Rather than push their kids to be better than everyone else, they focus on helping them become the best versions of themselves.

7. They Don’t Let Their Child Avoid Responsibility

You won’t catch a mentally strong parent saying things like, “I don’t want to burden my kids with chores. Kids should just be kids.” They expect children to pitch in and learn the skills they need to become responsible citizens. They proactively teach their kids to take responsibility for their choices and they assign them age-appropriate duties.

8. They Don’t Shield Their Child From Pain

It’s tough to watch kids struggle with hurt feelings or anxiety. But, kids need practice and first-hand experience tolerating discomfort. Mentally strong parents provide their kids with the support and help they need coping with pain so their kids can gain confidence in their ability to deal with whatever hardships life throws their way.

9. They Don’t Feel Responsible For Their Child’s Emotions

It can be tempting to cheer your kids up when they’re sad or calm them down when they’re angry. But, regulating your kids’ emotions for them prevents them from gaining social and emotional skills. Mentally strong parents teach their children how to be responsible for their own emotions so they don’t depend on others to do it for them.

10. They Don’t Prevent Their Child From Making Mistakes

Whether your child gets a few questions wrong on his math homework or he forgets to pack his cleats for soccer practice, mistakes can be life’s greatest teacher. Mentally strong parents let their kids mess up — and they allow them to face the natural consequences of their actions.

11. They Don’t Confuse Discipline With Punishment

Punishment is about making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline is about teaching them how to do better in the future. And while mentally strong parents do give out consequences, their ultimate goal is to teach kids to develop the self-discipline they’ll need to make better choices down the road.

12. They Don’t Take Shortcuts To Avoid Discomfort

Giving in when a child whines or doing your kids’ chores for them, is fast and easy. But, those shortcuts teach kids unhealthy habits. It takes mental strength to tolerate discomfort and avoid those tempting shortcuts.

13. They Don’t Lose Sight Of Their Values


In today’s fast-paced world it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day business of homework, chores, and sports practices. Those hectic schedules — combined with the pressure to look like parent of the year on social media —cause many people to lose sight of what’s really important in life. Mentally strong parents know their values and they ensure their family lives according to them.

Scientists Show How Gratitude Literally Alters The Human Heart & Molecular Structure Of The Brain

2 years ago · · 0 comments

Scientists Show How Gratitude Literally Alters The Human Heart & Molecular Structure Of The Brain

Published 1 month ago

on February 14, 2019

ByArjun Walia

In Brief

  • The Facts:Scientists have discovered that feelings of gratitude can actually change your brain. Feeling gratitude can also be a great tool for overcoming depression and anxiety. Furthermore, scientists have discovered that the heart sends signals to the brain.
  • Reflect On:Every time we struggle with depression, why are we constantly encouraged to take prescription medication when mindfulness techniques actually show more promise?

Gratitude is a funny thing. In some parts of the world, somebody who gets a clean drink of water, some food, or a worn out pair of shoes can be extremely grateful. Meanwhile, somebody else who has all the necessities they need to live can be found complaining about something. What we have today is what we once wanted before, but there is a lingering belief out there that obtaining material possessions is the key to happiness. Sure, this may be true, but that happiness is temporary. The truth is that happiness is an inside job. advertisement – learn more

It’s a matter of perspective, and in a world where we are constantly made to feel like we are lacking and always ‘wanting’ more, it can be difficult to achieve or experience actual happiness. Many of us are always looking toward external factors to experience joy and happiness, when really it’s all related to internal work. This is something science is just starting to grasp as well, as shown by research coming out of UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. According to them:Having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant. Now that’s a really cool way of taking care of your well-being.

There are many studies showing that people who count their blessings tend to be far happier and experience less depression.  For one study,  researchers recruited people with mental health difficulties, including people suffering from anxiety and depression. The study involved nearly 300 adults who were randomly divided into three groups. This study came from the University of California, Berkeley.

This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief. (source)

Previously, a study on gratitude conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami randomly assigned participants to be given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another group recorded daily troubles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or the negative. Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the troubled group. They reported fewer health complaints and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more. (source)

Researchers from Berkeley identified how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. They provided four insights from their research suggesting what causes the psychological benefits of gratitude.

There are many studies showing that people who count their blessings tend to be far happier and experience less depression.  For one study,  researchers recruited people with mental health difficulties, including people suffering from anxiety and depression. The study involved nearly 300 adults who were randomly divided into three groups. This study came from the University of California, Berkeley.

All groups received counselling services, but the first group was also instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person every week for three weeks, whereas the second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. The third group did not do any writing activity.

What did they find? Compared to the participants who wrote about negative experiences or only received counselling, those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health for up to 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.

This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief. (source)

Previously, a study on gratitude conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami randomly assigned participants to be given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another group recorded daily troubles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on the positive or the negative. Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the troubled group. They reported fewer health complaints and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more. (source)

Researchers from Berkeley identified how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. They provided four insights from their research suggesting what causes the psychological benefits of gratitude.

  • Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions
  • Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it
  • Gratitude’s benefits take time & practice. You might not feel it right away.
  • Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain

The brain part is very interesting. The researchers at Berkeley used an fMRI scanner to measure brain activity while people from each group did a “pay it forward” task.  During the task, the participants were given money by a “nice person.” This person’s only request was that they pass on the money to someone if they felt grateful.

They did this because they wanted to distinguish between actions motivated by gratitude and actions driven by other motivations like obligation, guilt, or what other people think. This is important because you can’t fake gratitude, you actually have to feel it. If you don’t feel grateful or practice trying to feel grateful by taking the necessary steps like keeping a gratitude journal, you may not experience as much joy and happiness.

In a world where emotions aren’t really taught in school and the importance is put on striving for high grades, it’s not abnormal to have difficulty feeling grateful. This is especially understandable if you’ve been brought up in the western world, which is full of consumerism and competition, a world where we’re constantly made to feel we are lacking so we need to strive for more.

Participants were asked to rate how grateful they felt toward the person giving them the money and how much they wanted to pay it forward to a charitable cause as well as how guilty they thought they would feel if they didn’t help.  They were also given questionnaires to measure how grateful they felt in general.

We found that across the participants, when people felt more grateful, their brain activity was distinct from brain activity related to guilt and the desire to help a cause. More specifically, we found that when people who are generally more grateful gave more money to a cause, they showed greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with learning and decision making. This suggests that people who are more grateful are also more attentive to how they express gratitude.

Most interestingly, when we compared those who wrote the gratitude letters with those who didn’t, the gratitude letter writers showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex when they experienced gratitude in the fMRI scanner. This is striking as this effect was found three months after the letter writing began. This indicates that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. While not conclusive, this finding suggests that practicing gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line, and this could contribute to improved mental health over time

It’s also interesting to note that a recent study just discovered a brain network that “gives rise to feelings of gratitude. The study could spur future investigations into how these ‘building blocks’ transform social information into complex emotions.” (source)

What About The Heart?

The work and research above is great, but where do we actually experience these feelings? They are clearly not a product of our brain, they are products of our consciousness, and when we feel them the brain responds.  Researchers are now discovering that the heart also responds and that it might actually be the heart that’s responsible for sending these signals to the brain.

A group of prestigious and internationally recognized leaders in physics, biophysics, astrophysics, education, mathematics, engineering, cardiology, biofeedback, and psychology (among other disciplines) have been doing some brilliant work over at the Institute of HeartMath.

Their work, among many others, has proven that when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a different message, which determines what kind of signals are sent to the brain.

Not only that, but because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, the Institute has been able to gather a significant amount of data.

According to Rolin McCratey, Ph.D, and Director of Research at Heartmath?)

“Emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.” (source)

Another great point made below by the Institute:

“One important way the heart can speak to and influence the brain is when the heart is coherent – experiencing stable, sine-wavelike pattern in its rhythms. When the heart is coherent, the body, including the brain, begins to experience all sorts of benefits, among them are greater mental clarity and ability, including better decision making.” (source)

In fact, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends in return. What’s even more amusing is the fact that these heart signals (from heart to brain) actually have a significant effect on brain function.

Research findings have shown that as we practice heart coherence and radiate love and compassion, our heart generates a coherent electromagnetic wave into the local field environment that facilitates social coherence, whether in the home, workplace, classroom or sitting around a table. As more individuals radiate heart coherence, it builds an energetic field that makes it easier for others to connect with their heart. So, theoretically it is possible that enough people building individual and social coherence could actually contribute to an unfolding global coherence. –  McCratey

So far, the researchers have discovered that the heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: neurological communication (nervous system), biophysical communication (pulse wave), biochemical communication (hormones), and energetic communication (electromagnetic fields).

“HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive function. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect. It facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability.” (source)

Gratitude and Positive Feelings Can Change The World

It gets deeper:

Every individual’s energy affects the collective field environment. The means each person’s emotions and intentions generate an energy that affects the field. A first step in diffusing societal stress in the global field is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our own energies. We can do this by increasing our personal coherence and raising our vibratory rate, which helps us become more conscious of the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that we are feeding the field each day. We have a choice in every moment to take to heart the significance of intentionally managing our energies. This is the free will or local freedom that can create global cohesion. – Dr. Deborah Rozman, the President of Quantum Intech (source)

Overall, this type of work suggests that human consciousness in general can change the world.

One study, for example, was done during the Israel-Lebanon war in the 1980s. Two Harvard University professors organized groups of experienced meditators in Jerusalem, Yugoslavia and the United Sates and asked them to focus their attention on the area of conflict at various intervals over a 27-month period. Over the course of the study, the levels of violence in Lebanon decreased between 40 and 80 percent each time a meditating group was in place. The average number of people killed during the war each day dropped from 12 to three, and war-related injuries fell by 70 percent. (source)

Another great example is a study that was conducted in 1993 in Washington, D.C., which showed a 25 percent drop in crime rates when 2,500 meditators meditated during a specific period of time with that intention.

This type of information is heavily correlated with quantum physics, as many experiments in that area as well as parapsychology (telepathy, remote viewing, distant healing) indicate similar findings. (source)

This holds true as far back as 1999. Statistics professor Jessica Utts at UC Irvine published a papershowing that parapsychological experiments have produced much stronger results than those showing a daily dose of aspirin helps prevent heart attacks. Utts also showed that these results are much stronger than the research behind various drugs like antiplatelets.

This type of work has statistically significant implications, yet is heavily ignored and labelled as pseudoscience simply because it conflicts with long-held beliefs we have trouble letting go of … But times are changing.

“For many years I have worked with researchers doing very careful work [in parapsychology], including a year that I spent full-time working on a classified project for the United States government, to see if we could use these abilities for intelligence gathering during the Cold War… At the end of that project I wrote a report for Congress, stating what I still think is true. The data in support of precognition and possibly other related phenomena are quite strong statistically, and would be widely accepted if it pertained to something more mundane. Yet, most scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at data! And on the other extreme, there are true believers who base their beliefs solely on anecdotes and personal experience. I have asked debunkers if there is any amount of data that would convince them, and they generally have responded by saying, “probably not.” I ask them what original research they have read, and they mostly admit that they haven’t read any. Now there is a definition of pseudo-science-basing conclusions on belief rather than data!” – Utts, Chair of the Statistics Department, UC Irvine (Dean Radin, Real Magic)

The Takeaway

Emotions and other factors associated with consciousness have the power to transform our inner world in ways we don’t fully understand yet. These findings show how consciousness can actually transform the physical/material world, and that’s huge. This validates the idea that if we can change our inner world through gratitude, empathy, compassion, and meditation, we can make our outer world more peaceful.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/02/14/scientists-show-how-gratitude-literally-alters-the-human-heart-molecular-structure-of-the-brain/
CE Staff Writer

5 Lessons Most People Learn Way Too Late in Life

2 years ago · · 0 comments

5 Lessons Most People Learn Way Too Late in Life

It’s best to learn these lessons while you’re still young.


By Quora

https://www.inc.com/quora/5-lessons-most-people-learn-way-too-late-in-life.html?cid=sf01002&sr_share=facebook

What are the lessons people most often learn too late in life?” originally appeared on Quora–the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Alyssa Satara, co-founder at Refugee Code Academy, on Quora:

1. Perception is reality

It’s true. The way you interpret and understand the world directly affects your beliefs and the way you live your life. Perception creates bias as much as it creates understanding. It creates fear as much as it creates curiosity.

Do you want your reality to be narrow or vast?

Will the bliss that ignorance provides be sufficient, or do you need more?

The truth is most people want more. Even if it is on a subconscious level. Humans tend to trail blaze. From cradle to the grave, our society emphasizes the importance of education. Learning and discovering is what we do, but still it is increasingly hard to understand what you don’t understand.

So how do you learn to know what you don’t know? Start by asking yourself: What don’t I know? What do you want to learn more about?

Most importantly, understand that it’s OK to be wrong. In error there is growth.

2. Everything is temporary

Your good times are temporary and your bad times are temporary. So when you’re up, enjoy it, bask in it, and be grateful for it. And when you’re down, know you will get through it. Know that it’s not the end, and that it’s just a rough patch. Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and surprises.

We forget that it’s about the journey not the destination.

There is a lesson in everything. I think it’s hard for a lot of people–especially young people–to appreciate life. Recognizing the full worth of your hardships and your blunders is key to appreciating the journey. It’s just as important to stay humble and be grateful for the joys life brings you.

Everything is temporary, so make the most out of all of it.

3. The importance of being present

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” —Lao Tzu

More often than not, we tend to worry about what’s to come, or dwell on something that’s already happened. While it’s crucial to care and consider your future, be careful not to let it hinder your present. Moments turn into memories. Enjoy the moment while you have it.

It usually takes a lifetime of piled up worries for a person to realize: Worrying isn’t productive.

Living in the past is equally unproductive. There are definitely benefits in being able to reflect on yourself and on your past. Paying attention to what you’ve been through and how that makes you feel matters. It takes a lot of emotional energy to grieve, process, and overcome.

The balance of being able to take time to reflect, and to prioritize your future while spending the majority of your day in the present, is beyond valuable, it’s life changing.

4. Do what you love, love what you do

There was a huge mosaic near my university in London that said that those words. I was grateful to walk past it almost every day and remind myself of the importance of loving your career and loving what you do. Your work is a considerably large aspect in your life that you dedicate yourself to. If you aren’t happy in your career, that unhappiness will seep into other aspects of your life. And while nothing is perfect, it’s important to work on yourself and position yourself to reach the goals and satisfactions you desire.

Most importantly: Invest in yourself.

This goes for your non-work life, too. What habits and hobbies do you want to stop? Which ones do you want to develop? It’s important to be conscious of the type of people and activities you surround yourself with. Information is like nutrients to your brain, be aware of what you are feeding yourself. Success isn’t one triumphant moment. Success is a series of moments (and choices) leading up to bigger moments.

You are the only person who can get in the way of living every day doing what you love.

Bob Dylan said it best when he said “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

5. Being happy takes work

The happiest people tend to be the ones who’ve worked the most on themselves. Being happy takes a lot of work. It’s just as much work–if not more– to be unhappy. So choose wisely. Being happy means at some point you decided to take control of your life. It means you decided to not be a victim and to put that energy back into yourself. Sometimes it’s hard, but you have to pull yourself up and push yourself forward.

Your lifetime is a series of developments and personal growth.

One of the worst things you can do for self-development is comparing yourself to other people. It’s easy to get caught up in jealousy and wanting what other people have. Especially with the way we interact with social media. You have to remember that people tend to show only the best parts of their lives on those platforms. It’s not fair to yourself when you see that and think “I want to do that” or “I want to look like that”. Not only does that distract you from being appreciative of what you have in our own life, it doesn’t provide any productive input to yourself. Most often, your perception of someone’s life is a fallacy. And even if it isn’t, focus on yourself. It’s your journey and your path that you should be concerned with.

Being happy takes practice. Whether it’s you learning to let go of your ego, or forming more self-loving habits…it takes practice. You only have one life, work as hard as you can to make it your best life.


Five Ways to Help Teens Feel Good about Themselves

2 years ago · · 0 comments

Five Ways to Help Teens Feel Good about Themselves

As teens struggle with anxiety and perfectionism, how can we help them like who they are?

BY AMY L. EVA | MAY 21, 2018P

No one wants to hang out with me. I’m a failure at school. All my other friends seem happy. What’s wrong with me?

These kinds of negative thoughts are becoming more common in our homes and schools. Teens are experiencing increased anxiety, and studies indicate that college students in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States are becoming more perfectionistic over time, measuring themselves against unrealistic standards.

Why is this happening? We can’t say for sure—but we do know there are steps teens can take to improve their mental health.

2018 study of early adolescents suggests that self-concept (your perception of self) plays a central role in emotional well-being. According to the study, a supportive classroom environment and positive social relationships also affect teen well-being—but the impact is indirect. Positive self-concept seems to be the key variable in the well-being equation. If a student feels good about herself, then she may be more likely to connect with others and benefit from the supports provided at school.

So, how can we influence how students think about themselves? This may feel like a very tall order; yet there is a lot of research out there that provides some clues for supporting the teens in your life. Here are five ways to help tweens and teens move toward a more positive self-concept.

1. Get physical

Although you may have heard this before, kids really can benefit from regular exercise (especially when their tendency is to sit in front of a screen). A recent review of 38 international studies indicates that physical activity alone can improve self-esteem and self-concept in children and adolescents.

Apparently, the exercise setting also matters. Students who participated in supervised activities in schools or gymnasiums reported more significant growth in self-esteem than those who exercised at home and in other settings.

Adolescents’ self-concept is most strongly linked to their sense of physical attractivenessand body image, an area where many people struggle. So, encourage more regular exercise programs during and after school, and support team sports, strength training, running, yoga, and swimming—not just for their effects on the body but on the mind, as well. Getting out and engaging in some form of exercise can make us feel stronger, healthier, and more empowered.

2. Focus on self-compassion (not self-esteem)

Because self-esteem is a global evaluation of your overall worth, it has its dangers. What am I achieving? Am I good enough? How do I compare with my peers?

What would happen if we could stop judging ourselves? Researcher Kristen Neff claims that self-compassion—treating yourself with kindness, openness, and acceptance—is a healthy alternative to the incessant striving and performance orientation often tied up with self-esteem. 

In her study of adolescents and young adults, she found that participants with higher self-compassion demonstrated greater well-being. Why? They were okay with their flaws, acknowledged that they struggled just like those around them (“Everybody makes mistakes; you are not alone”), and treated themselves with the same kindness they would extend to a friend (“It’s okay; you did your best”).

  • How Would You Treat a Friend?Build resilience by changing the way you respond to challengesTry It Now

If you are interested in specific techniques and strategies for enhancing self-compassion in teens, take a look at the work of psychologist Karen Bluth. She recently developed a program called Making Friends with Yourself. Youth participating in this eight-week program reported greater resilience, less depression, and less stress at the end of it. However, if there isn’t a program near you, consider sharing this self-compassion workbook with the teens in your life.

3. Avoid social comparison

When we focus on self-esteem, we tend to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. Teens, in particular, often sense an “imaginary audience” (i.e., “Everyone is looking at me!”) and can become highly sensitized to who they are relative to everyone around them.

Instagram and other social media platforms don’t necessarily help. Some research suggests an association between social media and depression, anxiety, loneliness, and FoMO (fear of missing out) among teens. Their posts may not rack up the number of “likes” that their friends’ posts do, or they may feel excluded when they see pictures of classmates happily spending time together without them.

A new app for teen girls called Maverick may be a healthier option than Snapchat or Instagram. On this social media platform, teens can connect with role models (called “Catalysts”) and explore their creativity (such as designing their own superhero or choosing a personal mantra). Of course, there is always the option of taking a break from social media, as well.

Regardless of what teens choose to do online, many of our schools are also structured for social comparison. Grading, labeling, and tracking practices (grouping students based on their academic performance) don’t necessarily honor the stops, starts, and inevitable mistakes that are a natural part of the learning process.

Here are some school-based alternatives designed to reduce social comparison:

  • Don’t make grades public.
  • Provide opportunities to revise and redo assignments.
  • Avoid ability grouping as much as possible.
  • Focus on individual growth and improvement.
  • Acknowledge students’ small successes.

4. Capitalize on specific skills

If you keep your eye out for teens’ talents and interests, you can support them in cultivating their strengths. Your son may think he is a terrible athlete, but he lights up when he works on school science projects. Then there’s that quiet, disheveled ninth-grade girl who sits in the back of your class. She may feel socially awkward, but she wows you with her poetry.

Researcher Susan Harter has studied adolescent self-esteem and self-concept for years. She claims that self-concept is domain-specific. Our overall self-esteem or sense of worth tends to be rooted in eight distinct areas: athletic competence, scholastic competence, behavioral conduct, social acceptance, close friendship, romantic appeal, job satisfaction, and physical attractiveness.

Talk to the teens in your life. What are their personal values and priorities? Share surveys with them like the VIA (which identifies character strengths like bravery, honesty, and leadership) or have them take a multiple intelligences quiz. Celebrate their talents and tailor activities and instruction around their abilities as much as possible.

It may not be easy to shift teens’ global sense of self-worth, but we can certainly highlight and encourage areas of interest and particular skill sets so that they feel more confident, capable, and inspired.

5. Help others (especially strangers)

Finally, when teens reach out to others, they are more likely to feel better about themselves. A 2017 study of 681 U.S. adolescents (ages 11-14) examined their kind and helpful behavior over a four-year period. Researchers found that adolescents who were kind and helpful in general had higher self-esteem, but those who directed their generosity toward strangers (not friends and family) tended to grow in self-esteem.

Last Friday, I joined my daughter and her peers during the “action” phase of their “Change the World” project. Their social studies teacher, Tim Owens, tasked the eighth graders with choosing a sustainability issue, researching the problem and possible solutions, planning action, and implementing the action.

These middle schoolers spent a full day canvasing their neighborhoods to advocate for policies that protected people they don’t know, like local refugees and homeless youth—as well as animals used for product testing. I’ve never seen my daughter and her friends more energized, confident, and engaged with their community.

  • Encouraging Kindness in KidsHow to praise kids in ways that make them more kindTry It Now

As adults, we can actively support service learning projects in our schools and our teens’ interests in advocacy and civil engagement. Adolescents around the world can also work remotely with non-profit organizations like DoSomething, “a digital platform promoting offline action” in 131 countries. On this site, young people can choose a cause, the amount of time they want to commit to it, and the type of help they would like to provide (e.g., face-to-face, improving a space, making something, sharing something, etc.)

When teens regularly contribute to a larger cause, they learn to think beyond themselves, which may ultimately help them to be more positive, empowered, and purposeful. 

As many teens struggle with anxiety and perfectionism, our urge may be to jump in and fix their problems, whatever we perceive them to be. But a better approach, one that will hopefully help reverse these worrying trends, is to cheer them on as they develop the mental habits and strengths that will support them throughout their lives.

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_ways_to_help_teens_feel_good_about_themselves

Frenemies and Bullying: Helping Girls Cope When Friendship Is Used as a Weapon

2 years ago · · 0 comments

Frenemies and Bullying: Helping Girls Cope When Friendship Is Used as a Weapon

The world of friendship and social status can be a challenging one for girls. Bullying prevention expert Signe Whitson observes that “adults often struggle with the question of, ‘Should I intervene in a child’s friendship problems?'” However, she asserts, “Kids need adult support and insights when it comes to navigating the choppy waters of friendship, disguised as a weapon.” In an insightful Psychology Today article, Whitson, a child and adolescent therapist, provides tips for parents who want to help their girls through friendship conflicts and teach them how to find good friends.

Using friendship and social status for manipulation is called relational aggression, and Whitson says the first trick is helping kids recognize it when they see it. “This type of bullying is marked by crimes of omission that make it very hard for girls to put their finger on what they are experiencing in their friendships — yet the pain, humiliation, and isolation are unmistakable,” she points out. According to Whitson, some of the common bullying behaviors that parents should make girls aware of include: excluding someone from parties and play dates; mocking, teasing, or saying something mean but following it with “just joking”; starting rumors and gossip in person, online, or by cell phone; and threatening to take away friendship if someone doesn’t toe the line. By teaching kids that these actions are unacceptable, girls can “make a conscious choice to move away from friends who use these behaviors.”

Girls also need to know that it’s okay to be angry — but they need to express that anger appropriately. “Anger is a normal, natural, human emotion,” Whitson asserts, “yet many girls, from a very early age, are bombarded with the message that anger = bad… [which] makes it difficult for young girls to stop and say, ‘Hey. I don’t like the way you are treating me right now.'” Parents who “teach their children how to be angry effectively — by role modeling assertive communication skills and by accepting anger when it is respectfully expressed — fortify girls with the confidence to walk away from toxic friendships.”  Moreover, by teaching your Mighty Girl how to show her strength — even by using simple phrases such as ‘Knock it off,’ or ‘Tell me when you get to the funny part’ — she will learn how to send a “simple, powerful signal that [she] will not allow herself to be treated poorly.”

At the same time, parents need to provide a sounding board for their kids when they are struggling with a friendship — and, if necessary, a shoulder to cry on. “Kids need to have a safe place to be vulnerable — to vent, to talk about their friendship frustrations, and even to cry,” Whitson argues. “Parents, relatives, teachers, counselors, and other caring adults are ideally suited to provide this safe place…. No child should have to find her way through painful conflict alone.” Make sure she knows that she can talk about anything with you, even — or especially — if she’s not sure how to act on her feelings, Whitson says: “I am all about teaching young people that it is okay to feel sad, or hurt, or angry, and that it is a good thing to talk about their emotions with others.”

Most importantly, Whitson says, teach girls what a good friendship looks like. “When kids understand how a healthy friendship should look and feel, they are best equipped to extricate themselves from friendships that are toxic and damaging,” she argues. She encourages parents to have an ongoing discussion about what makes a good friend, going beyond obvious factors like common interests to address whether a friend “helps me when I need it… [and] stands up for me” and  “uses words to tell me how she feels… [and] cares about my opinions and feelings.” When parents teach their daughter what good friendship feels like, Whitson asserts, they give a gift that will last her whole life: “Fostering discussions and careful consideration of the values involved in making and maintaining healthy friendships is one of the most important things adults can do to help girls choose friendships wisely.”

https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=21080

10 Essential Qualities for Living an Authentically Empowered Life

2 years ago · · 0 comments

10 Essential Qualities for Living an Authentically Empowered Life

7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To be powerful in the business world you must possess the essential qualities that will guarantee to keep you ahead of the game. The majority of people do not reach the levels of success or satisfaction they desire, not because they don’t have the talent, but because they do not have the other qualities necessary to make it happen. To live as powerfully as you desire, you must embody the indispensable qualities of those who have reached the mecca of success before you.

1. Live fiercely.

Living fiercely means you challenge yourself to live life to the fullest. Do not compare yourself to others. Your only real competition is with your own self-doubt. If you cater to your doubt, it will partner with “delay” and you will struggle to initiate and follow through. You may live an average life, but it won’t be a satisfying life. Living fiercely means you go at life with your whole heart. The more fiercely you live, the more wonderful life becomes. Those who have succeeded, those who have the wealth and happiness you desire, have lived fiercely.

Related: Why Valedictorians Rarely Become Rich and Famous — and the Average Millionaire’s College GPA is 2.9

2. Care deeply.

Caring deeply means you know who you are, what you need and how to have compassion for yourself. In doing this, you increase your capacity to care for all others; even those whom you would prefer not to spend time with. If you cannot be kind, you must have the grace to remain silent. Further, when you care deeply about what you do, what your purpose is, and the effort and quality of the work you put into yourself, your passions and others, it will show. Caring deeply helps you create sustainable networks that are supportive of your efforts. Caring deeply is contagious, as it inspires others to want to be a part of what you’re doing.

3. Accept reality.

Unforgivable things are going to happen. You will face plenty of loss and betrayal. To protect your success, you must accept the reality of the people and circumstances which have been set for your destruction. Acceptance brings you to reality and reality is the only place you can start to heal from in an effort to change your life.  Reality is where forgiveness and wisdom combine. To be successful, you must learn to “drop it, leave it and let it go.” Forgiveness is an essential ingredient when it comes to success; whereas, your wisdom lies in not forgetting. When you remember who and what did not have your best interest at heart, you are less likely to make those mistakes again in the future.

Related: 11 Qualities of Super Successful People (Infographic)

4. Discerning

You cannot host toxic people and rise in your life or career at the same time. For this reason, to be as successful and fulfilled as you desire, you must be discerning about the company you keep. You cannot fly with bowling balls attached to your wings. For this reason, rid your path of toxic people as soon as you recognize their toxicity. It only takes one toxic person to destroy the progress of many. Success is about surrounding yourself with a team of people who are similar in drive, variable in skills, and driven from the same infectious passion that motivates you. The key to your success, will always stem from the quality of your personal relationships.

5. Positive

To live an empowered life, you must train your mindset to believe in your capacity to succeed. You must choose to carry a mental and emotional attitude focused on the bright side of life. Empowerment is ultimately a state of consciousness where you anticipate happiness, health, success and the belief that you can overcome any obstacle or difficulty. Say Yes to life, to new opportunities, thoughts, ideas and directions. You must allow your mind to be open, flexible and to trust that each time you say Yes, that you will be lead into more success.

Related: Why You Should Never Follow Your Passion

6. Grit

Trust that failure is the springboard for your success. Each mistake made is designed to take you in a new direction, rather than designed to take you down. You must refuse to allow setbacks to discourage you. Let setbacks inspire you more deeply to set new goals, to generate new ideas and to take novel ways up the mountain. Let there be no amount of hard work you will shy away from, regardless of how talented you are. Hold the awareness that having a talent for something is far different than excelling at something; therefore, your hard work will trump your talent every time. To feel empowered on any level, you must have the grit to finish what you start.

7. Humble

To live from a state of empowerment, you must have the humility to know when you need to ask for help, and when it is time to allow the efforts of others to shine more brightly than your own. Humility gives you the wisdom to understand that success is a shared experience. When achievements can be shared, it makes you more engaging to others, as your humility naturally draws intrigue. There is nothing more beautiful than to give credit to the team of people who helped you get to where you are.

Related: Vacation Tips From a Workaholic

8. Set boundaries.

As important as it is to say Yes, you must also know when to say No. Overextending yourself to an oppressive schedule that doesn’t allow you to take care of your health, nutrition, to get adequate sleep or enough time for your personal life is not success at all, it’s slavery. Success is not empowering if you do not have your health, the experience of deep love and the time to live your life wholeheartedly. It is crucial to take breaks from the grind, and to experience the fruits of your labor. If you say No to one opportunity, another will come along that will be even better. Say No whenever necessary to establish a healthy work/life balance.

9. Courageous

The motto you must live by, is to feel the fear and do it anyways. To experience empowerment, you have to put guts over fear. You must face your fears if you want to know what you’re capable of. How can you know the depth of your capacity if you never test it? You’ve got this one life, so you may as well test the limits of what you believe your capacities to be, and prove your more limiting beliefs to be false. To be in the game of success, you’ve got to be in it to win it.

Related: Why Travel Should Be a Top Priority for Every Entrepreneur

10. Tough-minded

You must not allow giving up to be a viable option. If you’re seeking to live your dream, you are the only person who can go out there and live it. You cannot give up in the middle of the race just because the finish line isn’t coming fast enough. Stay in the moment, learn patience and keep working hard. Your hard work and tough-mindedness will give you a resilience to outlast your competitors. Most people are not tough-minded enough to be patient or to tolerate uncertainty; they want the quick-fix and the easy win. If you want to live an empowered life, you must become a warrior; skilled in the area of perseverance. You must view each challenge as a competition to be won.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295137

7 practical tips to achieve a positive mindset

2 years ago · · 0 comments

7 practical tips to achieve a positive mindset

7 Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset

PracticalTipstoAchieveaPositiveMindset

The “power of positive thinking” is a popular concept, and sometimes it can feel a little cliché. But the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking have been demonstrated by multiple scientific studies. Positive thinking can give you more confidence, improve your mood, and even reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertension, depression and other stress-related disorders.

All this sounds great, but what does the “power of positive thinking” really mean?

You can define positive thinking as positive imagery, positive self-talk or general optimism, but these are all still general, ambiguous concepts. If you want to be effective in thinking and being more positive, you’ll need concrete examples to help you through the process.

Related: 10 Clever Tricks to Trigger Positive Emotions

Here are seven:

1. Start the day with positive affirmation.

How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day? This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced. Instead of letting this dominate you, start your day with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself in the mirror, even if you feel silly, with statements like, “Today will be a good day” or “I’m going to be awesome today.” You’ll be amazed how much your day improves.

2. Focus on the good things, however small.

Almost invariably, you’re going to encounter obstacles throughout the day—there’s no such thing as a perfect day. When you encounter such a challenge, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem. For example, if you get stuck in traffic, think about how you now have time to listen to the rest of your favorite podcast. If the store is out of the food you want to prepare, think about the thrill of trying something new.

3. Find humor in bad situations.

Allow yourself to experience humor in even the darkest or most trying situations. Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it. Say you’re laid off; imagine the most absurd way you could spend your last day, or the most ridiculous job you could pursue next—like kangaroo handler or bubblegum sculptor.

Related: 5 Ways to Stay Positive When You’re Having a Bad Day

4. Turn failures into lessons.

You aren’t perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and experience failure in multiple contexts, at multiple jobs and with multiple people. Instead of focusing on how you failed, think about what you’re going to do next time—turn your failure into a lesson. Conceptualize this in concrete rules. For example, you could come up with three new rules for managing projects as a result.

5. Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. You might think I’m so bad at this or I shouldn’t have tried that. But these thoughts turn into internalized feelings and might cement your conceptions of yourself. When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones. For example, I’m so bad at thisbecomes Once I get more practice, I’ll be way better at thisI shouldn’t have tried becomes That didn’t work out as planned—maybe next time.

6. Focus on the present.

I’m talking about the present—not today, not this hour, only this exact moment. You might be getting chewed out by your boss, but what in this exact moment is happening that’s so bad? Forget the comment he made five minutes ago. Forget what he might say five minutes from now. Focus on this one, individual moment. In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event. Stay in the present moment.

7. Find positive friends, mentors and co-workers.

When you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll hear positive outlooks, positive stories and positive affirmations. Their positive words will sink in and affect your own line of thinking, which then affects your words and similarly contributes to the group. Finding positive people to fill up your life can be difficult, but you need to eliminate the negativity in your life before it consumes you. Do what you can to improve the positivity of others, and let their positivity affect you the same way.

Almost anybody in any situation can apply these lessons to their own lives and increase their positive attitude. As you might imagine, positive thinking offers compounding returns, so the more often you practice it, the greater benefits you’ll realize.

 

7 Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset

Childhood bullying

2 years ago · · 1 comment

Childhood bullying

People who have been bullied can experience mental health problems later in life such as stress, anxiety and depression. So it is vital that children who have been bullied work through the past in order to move on and forward.

There are ways we can identify bullying, and numerous things we can do to stop it. Research shows its important that we do as bullying can often affect us throughout our childhood and later on in life. (iStock)

Childhood bullying is so common that it may not seem like a big deal. Up to 35% of people are estimated to have experienced it at some point. By adulthood, we are generally expected to have “got over” it. But the mental health effects of being bullied can be serious and last a lifetime. One study has even suggested that, when it comes to mental health, bullying is as harmful as child abuse, if not worse.

Approximately 20% of people who have been bullied experience some kind of mental health problems later in life, even at the age of 50. While some of these, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are easy to spot, others may be more difficult to recognise. These can range from inexplicable bouts of anger to a lifetime of feeling inferior to other people.

Although there has been an immense amount of research on bullying, most of it has focused on immediate effects, intervention and prevention. So we need more research on long-term effects and new forms of bullying, such as online abuse.

That said, severe long-term effects of bullying are relatively well documented. Research has shown that victims of bullying report more severe anxiety symptoms than others. Being bullied is also linked to social anxiety, which often lasts into adulthood and increases the risk of developing personality disorders.

Depression is another negative consequence of bullying , which might lead to suicidal ideation and even suicide attempts. So if you are struggling with depression or anxiety and have a history of being bullied, there may be a link.

One of the most severe consequences is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research has shown that 40.5% of girls and 27.6% of boys show PTSD symptoms at the time of being bullied. These individuals’ torment can sometimes follow them into later life. This can be triggered by just remembering the bullying incident or by related stimuli, such as visiting their school as adults or by encountering their bully in a different environment.

Trust and self-esteem

While people with severe depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder may actually seek help and uncover that bullying could have played a part in their mental health problems, for many other people the signs are more subtle.

Self-esteem is an aspect that is both a risk factor and a consequence of bullying. It is not hard to see that children who are suffering from repetitive bullying at school, at a time when they are still in the process of developing their personalities, could suffer a serious and lasting decline in self-esteem.

On the other hand, high self-esteem has been linked to bullying others. However, this effect seems to be moderated by other factors – high self-esteem is only linked to high bullying rates in schools which the students perceive to have a poor climate.

Another distinctive example is anger, which is a prerequisite of aggression and has been associated with both victimisation and perpetration of bullying. For the bullies, it is well recognised that, behind their abusive behaviour, lies the intention to hurt another individual – usually motivated by negative emotions such as aggression, anger and hostility.

But repeated bullying can also make victims more angry, which in turn maintains the cycle of bullying. The main difference between bullies and victims is that bullies exhibit higher levels of proactive aggression (behaviour that anticipates a reward), whereas victims exhibit higher levels of reactive aggression (anger in response to a threat).

Bullying can also lead to health problems, alcohol and drug abuse, social withdrawal and severe trust issues. For many victims who are trying to overcome the experience, the loss of trust is perhaps the most challenging consequence. But if nobody stands up for you at the time of being bullied, you begin to lose trust in your peers – and that may be for life.

It is also important to note that bullying effects are often related. In other words, low self-esteem is related to depression, depression is related to suicidal ideation, and so on. Such relationships lead victims to experience not one, but multiple bullying effects during their victimisation period and in their adulthood.

Dealing with the past

So what should you do if you suddenly realise that bouts of anger or low self-esteem may have resulted from bullying that happened decades ago? One option is talking therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy. The latter involves training yourself to change your thinking and behaviour, tackling for example negative thinking, social phobia or low self-esteem.

When it comes to anger, various studies have indicated that restorative justice techniques – a mediation between the victim and the offender while promoting discussion and forgiveness – could help. However, such practices can only benefit victims and bullies respectively if applied in a controlled environment, such as the school, by a trained member of staff.

Some individuals take their own initiative to face their bully or victim in adulthood and either apologise for their past behaviour or seek answers for their victimisation. However, they must keep in mind that such an encounter might have the exact opposite results. Research shows that bullies often maintain an aggressive behaviour in adulthood. Therapy or counselling are usually therefore much better ways to deal with the consequences.

Perhaps the most important thing in order to get over traumatic bullying experiences is to stop blaming yourself. There have been numerous studies indicating that this is very common and a result of wrongfully developed perceptions. For example, it is well established that overweight children suffer higher levels of bullying than others. Such individuals may view their body mass or inability to “stand up for themselves” as the reason they were picked on. If these victims do not accept their individuality and stop self blaming, it can be very hard to heal the wounds.

The ConversationBeing bullied as a child in school, which is such a huge part of an individual’s world, is clearly a traumatic experience – it should come as no surprise that it may leave lasting scars. Luckily, there is plenty of help out there. And even if you don’t want to embark on getting therapy, just identifying the negative thinking patterns and behaviour that the bullying may have triggered can ultimately help you change them and move on.

Calli Tzani Pepelasi, Lecturer in Investigative Psychology, University of HuddersfieldThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Were you bullied when you were growing up? Has your child been bullied? How did you/they deal with the trauma? Tell us by sending your comments to chatback@parent24.com and we may publish them.

Read more:

https://www.parent24.com/Child_7-12/Development/childhood-bullying-can-cause-lifelong-psychological-damage-heres-how-to-spot-the-signs-and-move-on-20180810

Bullying at School

4 years ago · · 3 comments

Bullying at School

From abusive behaviour on the school playground to intentionally disrespecting classmates on social media, bullying is a widespread problem that can affect your child’s mental and emotional health.

Bullying

What is bullying?

Bullying is when a child or a group of children abuse their power to hurt or intimidate others. There are different types of bullying. For instance, verbal bullying, physical bullying, social or relationship and cyber bullying.  Parents should remember that both the bully and the child being bullied need help.

What are the signs of bullying?

Bullying can be identified by the following types of behaviour:

  • deliberate aggression,
  • an unbalanced power relationship between the bully and the victim, and
  • the causing of physical pain and/or emotional anxiety.

A bully can be identified by the following behaviours:

  • they are aggressive and get into fights often, and
  • they never take responsibility for their actions.

What are the effects of bullying?  School girl being bullied

There are many effects of bullying that you can look out for. These include:

  • faking illnesses to avoid having to attend school,
  • a low self-esteem,
  • social isolation,
  • unexplained bruises and injuries,
  • becomes upset after using the internet or cellphone, and
  • becomes very secretive about online activities.

What are the different types of bullying?

There are 4 main types of bullying that you should look out for:

  • Verbal and written (name calling, negative comments, intimidation, and threatening or humiliating SMSes),
  • Physical (bumping, scratching, shouldering, hitting, tripping, biting, rolling eyes or showing suggestive signs),
  • Social or relationships (gossiping (verbal or written), revealing personal information, manipulation of the child with a view to humiliation or exclusion from a group), and
  • Cyber bullying (intimidating or harassing a child using a digital platform such as social networks).

What are the consequences of bullying? 

There are many effects of bullying that you can look out for. They include:

  • absenteeism and a fear of attending school,
  • feelings of inferiority,
  • self-esteem problems,
  • feelings of loneliness,
  • social isolation,
  • emotional problems,
  • communication problems,
  • depression,
  • struggle to achieve academically,
  • some victims commit suicide,
  • rule breaking, anti-social behaviour patterns, and
  • risk of criminal behaviour later.

Prevention of bullying

Once bullying has been identified, it’s important to address the situation as soon as possible with the school, where appropriate measures and actions can be discussed and implemented.

Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schäfer has urged parents and learners to report incidents of bullying.  She said parents are key to identifying behavioural changes in their children.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has provided guidelines to schools on how to deal with bullying. Schools need to deal with the issue in line with codes of conduct, and intervene appropriately to support the victim and to change the behaviour of the culprit.

Districts provide training and support on this issue as part of broader support on disciplinary issues. Teachers can use the following guidelines to prevent bullying:
  • Provide a clear guideline for acceptable behaviour.
  • Create class rules which state that bullying is unacceptable.
  • All learners who are guilty of bullying should be called to account. It will send out a clear message that bullying will not be tolerated.
  • It is, however, important that the focus shouldn’t be on punishment so much as on the changing of behaviour.

Support to the victim

Support to the victims of bullying is provided through:

  • protecting them from further bullying,
  • helping them to understand the bully’s actions, which will enable them not to look for the cause of the bully’s behaviour in themselves,
  • involving them in educational games of therapy through which they can give expression to their feelings through drawing, writing, and drama,
  • involving them in a support group consisting of other victims, and
  • linking them with a different group of friends who will act supportively.

Cyber bullying

If your child has a cellphone, they may be at risk of being cyber bullied. Bullying may occur through social networks, SMSes or emails.

The Basic Education Department has issued guidelines on social media and social networking at school to all public schools, and called on all principals, teachers and members of school governing bodies to familiarise themselves with them. The guidelines can be found on the WCED website.

You can support your child by using the guidelines provided by South African Police Service (SAPS) listed below:

  • Don’t respond. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants.
  • Don’t retaliate. Responding with similar threats reinforces the bully’s behaviour
  • Save the evidence. Online messages can usually be saved and shown to someone who can help. Save evidence in case the bullying gets worse.
  • Block the bully. Use your social media preference settings or contact the administrator to block an online bully.
  • Reach out for help. You need to ask for help. A trusted adult can provide support.

Help for bullies

It’s important to remember that the bully often comes from a background where there is insecurity, little parent involvement, and inconsistency in actions of parents.

These learners are often subjected to physical punishment and emotional outbursts. Before formal counselling is necessary, the bully must come to the realisation that his/her behaviour is always going to have negative consequences until the behaviour is changed.

Helpful questions for the bully: school girl being bullied by classmates

  • Why do you feel the need to bully others?
  • Do you understand that your actions are hurting someone?
  • What did you want to achieve?
  • How will you change your behaviour so that you don’t hurt anyone?

The bully must learn the following:

  • To accept responsibility for their own behaviour.
  • To accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions for themselves.
  • To become uncomfortable (my behaviour got me into trouble and I want to avoid it next time).
  • To change their behaviour in order to stay out of trouble.
  • To find other ways of satisfying their needs.
  • To take responsibility for the effect that their actions have had on others.
  • To feel guilty about their actions.
  • To trust others.
  • To build relationships with supportive adults.

Getting help

You don’t need to deal with bullying on your own. Reach out to your loved ones or use the WCED’s Safe Schools hotline to report abuse, available to teachers, learners and parents. Contact the hotline on 0800 45 46 47.

Source: Western Cape Education Department

https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/bullying-school

7 Ways You Can Benefit From Life Coaching

4 years ago · · 2 comments

7 Ways You Can Benefit From Life Coaching

Some people are  not too sure what Life Coaching is and how it can have a tremendous impact on all areas of  life. This post is dedicated to creating some clarity in that area and describing 7 ways that you can benefit from Life Coaching. I have always been a life coach, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I did it formally. I remember as far back as high school, people would come to me for advice, motivation and an alternative perspective. I have been going ever since. Throughout my life, I have had some outstanding family members and mentors who have helped me personally, academically and professionally – constantly reminding me of what was possible for my life, regardless of the circumstance. My life is dedicated to returning that power.

1. Gaining clarity about what you want

Gaining clarity about what you want and how you want to get it. Becoming clear on who you want to become, what your passion and purpose is, and what is most important to you. Most people go through life never taking the time to define themselves and their life, and thus never have a clear direction, struggle with following through and settle for mediocrity.

2. Improving confidence

Improving confidence and developing an empowering self image are essential for success in the workplace, as well as physical health and  in our intimate relationships. Know what we are worth, raise your standards and see yourself as someone who deserves the best out of life. That will empower you and fuel you towards your greatest goals.

3. Overcoming obstacles, fear, and insecurities will set you ahead of the pack.

Most people run from their fears, you will learn to recognize them and allow them to drive you towards achievement.

4. Implementation

Bridge the gap between theory and practice. Taking education and motivation and turning it into the desired result!

5. Recognition of the possibilities for your life

Most people see life as fixed, permanent, as having no choice or no control. With a coach you can receive an outside perspective and realize that you have many options regardless of circumstance.

6. Creating a plan to reach your goals faster

Most people don’t have a life or goal plan; they approach life day-to-day with no clear intentions, vision or mission. All that changes with a coach.

7. Someone to hold you accountable

Being able to check in with a coach weekly is like having a best friend whose sole purpose is to help you succeed and hit whatever target you have set. Sometimes it is hard to find people in our lives who can honestly hold us accountable, all while cheering us on and motivating us throughout the whole process.

I would love to help you on this journey.

I know the world is a better place when people live lives that are passionate, compassionate, productive and meaningful. Contact me for more information on how we can work together so you can show the world your greatness!

“Your life is your message. Make it an inspiring one” -Buddha

As always, I hope this helps. Feel free to share this with your family, friends and colleagues.

All the best,

Jeff Moore

https://everydaypowerblog.com/7-ways-you-can-benefit-from-life-coaching/