Guiding our children to shine their inner LIGHT by being our absolute best!

Posts tagged ‘bullying’

Raising the AHA Generation: Is that a good thing?

ProblemSolving

When you hear Aha, you may think it is a good thing because ‘Aha’ usually means that you are becoming aware of something, but when you hear what AHA stands in this article, I’m not so sure you’ll feel the same way…

As a school teacher of 15 years I have seen many changes through my career. I have seen staggering changes in education, expectations, learning styles and overall behavior of our children. In the past few weeks I have become critically aware of three important elements that I see clear across the board with our current generation that need to be addressed; (I could write another book on this but I will keep it short and sweet for now)

  • Today’s children are generally anxious. Kids always want to know what is coming next and why they are doing what they are doing in that moment. They worry about the simple things in life yet do not pay attention to the details that can help them to feel secure. They have more fears today then we had in our childhood and they look for others to solve their problems because they are afraid that they don’t have the tools to do so on their own.
  • Kids of today are learning to be helpless. Their minds are in three different places at once and they therefore struggle to focus on one thing at a time. Perhaps this is because they are so anxious that they are not in the moment. Maybe they are too focused on the past and too fearful of the future to stay in the present moment, or perhaps they have just learned that they don’t have to do things for themselves because the adults will do it to get it done on their timeline
  • Today’s children are angry. There are many times in a day when I am putting fires out because someone has been ‘rubbed the wrong way’ or is upset because they didn’t get their way. They easily bark at one another instead of talking things out and listening to the ideas of others. Our children of today go from joy to anger in a matter of minutes and then back to joy when they get their way once again. It’s truly remarkable how they’ve learned to use anger as a bargaining chip.

So there you have it, the AHA generation in a nutshell. Maybe that wasn’t the Aha you were expecting but it’s something we certainly need to look at.

Now, where did this come from?

In my opinion, our kids are learning from us! Think about your average day and the amount of stress you are under. We run from one activity to another. We speak so quickly that we often wonder if we are making sense and we never make time to just BE. We have become Human Doings instead of Human Beings because we are trying to do way too much in our lives. Doesn’t that make you feel anxious?

And think about it… if you are anxious…if your child’s teachers are anxious…if the world spins this quickly daily and everybody is running in different directions…aren’t we all creating an anxious environment for our children to grow in?

How could they not develop deep anxiety in life with these circumstances?

We put pressure on our children from the moment they enter school with academic testing (if not sooner based upon our own expectations). We constantly rush them from one activity to another because, well, hey that’s just what we do today. We never take time to sit and quiet our minds or teach our children to quiet their minds yet we expect them to relax and just be kids when they do have ‘down time’. Hmmmm, how are they to do that when even they are under so much pressure?

Let’s talk about learned helplessness– I don’t believe that we have done this on purpose, but it seems that we are always making excuses for our children’s behaviors or seeking a label to explain those behaviors instead of addressing the issues and teaching them how to problem solve. Our kids are over stimulated with electronics and under stimulated with human connection! We often ask our children to do something and then when we realize it hasn’t been done, we do it ourselves because we are in a hurry and it’s just quicker that way. But, what are we creating with this behavior?

How about those angry kids? We are so hell bent on making sure that our children don’t experience what we experienced and we are so concerned with ‘fairness’ that we have forgotten that sometimes life isn’t fair and we all need to learn how to roll with the punches and go with the flow because sometimes things just don’t work out the way you intend.

Now, if you know anything about me, you know that I don’t like to complain about something without having a solution. So, what can we do?

We need to teach our kids how to be Problem Solvers.

We need to stop taking their power away by answering for them or doing it for them and start empowering them to believe in themselves and speak their truth. The world isn’t always fair but our present circumstances do not have to determine our future and learning to overcome obstacles in life can only build strong character. Give your kids their power back and stop solving their problems for them. Instead, give them the tools that they need to be successful in life.

  • When they come to you to ask you if their picture/work is good don’t give them an answer. Instead, get down on their level and say, “What do YOU think about your picture?” Allow them to talk about their work and share their pride. This will teach them that their opinion matters and they don’t have to seek approval outside of themselves.
  • When they feel disappointed or upset about something, don’t offer them the solution or try to make it better (and believe me I know this is hard). Instead, sit with them and allow them to feel their feelings without judgment, then ask them what they think they can do about the problem. Guide them to problem solve without giving them a direct solution. This will help them to feel empowered because they had a part in the solution. And as difficult as it is-because we all just want to make it better- it’s worth it in the long run because you are giving them tools for a lifetime. What is that old saying… “Give them a fish and they eat today but teach them to fish and they eat for an eternity!” (or something like that)

I don’t want our kids to be anxious, helpless and angry. Instead, I would like to create a strong foundation for them so that they can grow up to have a healthy, productive, joyful life. Now that is a much better Aha, agree?

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

PS Please leave me your comments. I read them all and love hearing your thoughts!

www.vickisavini.com

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Honoring the Light Within with Mindfulness

Wow, I just had an amazing conversation with my 8 year and I’m truly honored to be his mom.

This evening he came home from baseball practice and seemed a bit emotional. He said he got hit by a ball, but I knew in my heart it was more than that.

When we laid down to talk before bed I went with my gut (as I always tell parents to do because we know what’s going on with our kids more than we’d like to admit).

This is my sons first year in little league and it can be somewhat intimidating to try something new when others have been at it for a while. I turned to him and began to say those very words. As I talked he began to cry.

I stopped talking and opened my ears to listen to him intently. Sure, he may have been feeling a bit unnerved by this ‘new’ sport but it was more than that. What was bothering him most was that other kids were being mean to the ‘little kid’ on the team…

He started off by telling me that some kids were telling him what he was doing wrong and it hurt his feelings. It was then that I reminded him that if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. He asked, “How am I part of the problem mom. They were putting me down?” I answered, “Yes, hunnie, that’s true, but you allowed it to affect you. You are part of the solution when you stand up for yourself and help others to stop and think about their own actions. You might have done that by saying, ‘thanks for the tip but I’m going to listen to the coach,’ ‘last I checked you weren’t a coach,’ or ‘wow, when did the Yankees draft you?” He liked that last one.

I thought we were through the woods but then he got really upset and began to sob uncontrollably. I reached out to him and asked what was wrong. He sadly replied, “Mommy, I was mean too. Some of the kids were making fun of the ‘little kid’ on the team and I agreed with them that he was small. I didn’t like the way it felt inside but I wanted them to like me. Mom, I was part of the problem!

I smiled a bit and wiped his cheeks and said, “Yes hunnie you were part of the problem, but right now you are turning it around to become part of the solution.”

Many children (and adults-who are we kidding) never take the time to be mindful–present in the moment–and think about their thoughts, actions and feelings and my 8 year old was doing that on his own!

We then read my children’s book for the upteen-millionth time, The Light Inside of Me and hugged tightly at the end.

be the light - person

We all have a light deep within us that shines brightly when we come from a place of love and are living our truth and dims when we allow fear to take the helm. In short, when we feel good, we shine and when we feel bad, we are dim or we dim the lights of others.

The next time you see a dim light, be present in the moment. Be totally mindful of what you are thinking and feeling and then instead of reacting, respond with love.

I am so proud of my son this evening (and every other minute of his existence). Tonight and every night I feel honored to be his mom.

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki