A note from the Chaplain, Chevonne

What a term this has been! Parents, you should be so proud of your children for their tenacity and resilience. They have just been amazing as they developed independence coming into school and it has been wonderful to see.  

The teachers have been a strong support for your children in the midst of chaos, they are all wonderful!

The school holidays are fast approaching, here are “52 Responses to I”M BORED”. Enjoy!

You are now aware that I will be leaving Glendale Primary School at the end of this term to go on maternity leave.  I would like to say a huge thank you to the Glendale PS community for welcoming me and making me feel part of this beautiful school.   I hope you will extend that same warmth to Rumbi, the new Chaplain, as she starts her journey at the beginning of Term 3. 

I wish you all well for the rest of 2020,

Chevonne

From The Chaplain

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I trust you all enjoyed the beautiful weather this past weekend, I took the opportunity to do some gardening.

Over the last few months I have noticed an increase in families walking and playing together, as we’ve had to distance ourselves from others.  I believe this has been a valuable time to reconnect with our family units.  One of my thoughts lately has been around how to keep this connection as we head back into “normal” life or routine, work etc.  I believe it is important to continue to work on having a better work/life balance.  This will look different for everyone but let’s remember to go for walks, head to the park, picnic in the backyard, build an indoor cubby etc, these moments of connection are priceless. 

Here are a few ideas for the weekends

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Take care

Chevonne

From the Chaplain – “10 Habits to Strengthen a Parent-Child Relationship”

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I trust the term is going well.

Let’s continue with the 10 Habits to Strengthen a Parent-Child Relationship:

  1. Connect before transitions.

Kids have a hard time transitioning from one thing to another. They need us to “co-regulate” them through those moments when they really don’t want to give up what they’re doing to move onto something we want them to do. If you look him in the eye, use his name, connect with him, and then get him giggling, you’ll give him a bridge to manage himself through a tough transition.

  1. Make time for one on one time.

Do whatever you need to do to schedule 15 minutes with each child, separately, every day. Alternate doing what your child wants and doing what you want during that time. On her days, just pour your love into her while you follow her lead. On your days resist the urge to structure the time with activities. Instead, try any physical activity or game that gets her laughing.

  1. Welcome emotion.

Sure, it’s inconvenient. But your child needs to express his emotions or they’ll drive his behaviour. Besides, this is an opportunity to help your child heal those upsets, which will bring you closer. So summon up all your compassion, don’t let the anger trigger you, and welcome the tears and fears that always hide behind the anger. Remember that you’re the one he trusts enough to cry with, and breathe your way through it. Just acknowledge all those feelings and offer understanding of the pain. That creates safety, so he can move through those emotions and back into connection, Afterwards, he’ll feel more relaxed, cooperative, and closer to you. (Yes, this is really, really hard. Regulating our own emotions in the face of our child’s upset is one of the hardest parts of parenting. But that doesn’t mean we’re excused from trying.)

I’ll leave it at that for this week, there is so much we can “chew” on from these 3 habits.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if a need arises. 

Take care,

Chevonne

Did you know:

  • Boredom encourages imagination and creativity
  • Children who spend more time playing outside have a reduced risk of becoming myopic.
  • Studies have shown that if a kid watches more than 3 hours of videos or TV programs a day, they may have a greater chance of emotional, relationship, and conduct problems when they reach 7 years of age.

From the Chaplain – “Connectedness”

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope it has been a good few weeks of settling into new classrooms, routines etc; I can’t believe we are already in week 5!

I’d like to take the time over the next few weeks to discuss “connectedness”.

Psychology Today writes about 10 habits to strengthen our connection with our children.  I’ll chat about a few of these at a time.

  1. Aim for 12 hugs (or physical connections) every day, snuggle your child first thing in the morning for a few minutes, and last thing at night. Hug when you say goodbye, when you’re re-united, and often in between. Tousle hair, pat backs, rub shoulders. Make eye contact and smile, which is a different kind of touch, this may seem above and beyond however it’s a great way to find out what happened in their day.
  2. Play, laughter and rough-housing keep you connected with your child by stimulating endorphins and oxytocin in both of you. Making laughter a daily habit also gives your child a chance to laugh out the anxieties and upsets that otherwise make him feel disconnected — and more likely to act out.
  3. Turn off technology when you interact with your child.  Your child will remember for the rest of her life that she was important enough to her parents that they turned off their phone to listen to her. Even turning off music in the car can be a powerful invitation to connect, because the lack of eye contact in a car takes the pressure off, so kids (and adults) are more likely to open up and share.

I have found these points to be really thought provoking not just for interactions with children but also significant others in my life, I hope as we journey through the 10 habits you too would have something to take away.

Take care,

Chevonne

Did you know?

  • Board games are held in the Library on Tuesday’s during lunch.
  • Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.
  • Effects of too much screen time may affect your posture, eyesight can deteriorate, may cause sleep issues, and social skills may suffer.
  • Anglicare WA has a range of counselling services available.

From The Chaplain

Welcome Teachers, Students and Parents to 2020!  I am delighted to be back at Glendale to start a new year with you all.

I am at the school on a Monday and Tuesday, my role is to support parents, students and teachers where possible or where a need may arise.  I have many children speak to me about things they worry about, friendship issues, perhaps struggles with school work and more.  I would like to remind you that I am here to help as best I can. 

I recently read an article on friendships, this topic is one not only children face but also we as adults may at times find it tricky to navigate.  Linda Stade (Educational Writer) writes about 5 Friendship Lessons which may be useful for the start of a new year.

  1. We all need lots of different friends.
  2. There is a difference between having friends and being popular.
  3. Conflict happens; we need to learn to deal with it.
  4. Stay out of friendship drama.
  5. Friendships change and friendships end… and that’s okay.

There may be an opportunity to use these 5 lessons over the course of this year as our children find themselves navigating friendships.

This term I will be running a board games group on Tuesdays at lunchtime for Yr.2 to Yr. 6. I am looking forward to seeing a few new faces at our group

May you have a wonderful week,

Chevonne

Did you know?

  • 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25.
  • Mental health care plans can be accessed through a GP.
  • Relationships Australia has a wide range of services available from domestic violence support, parenting, separation and divorce counselling etc. Check out their website @ relationshipswa.org.au
  • The Triple P Program will be running a free seminar on Raising Resilient Children Wednesday 1st of April from 12.30pm-2.30pm @ Child and Parent Centre Warriapendi, 8 Redcliffe Avenue, Balga. Check out their website for more info – triplep-parenting.net.au.

From the Chaplain

Term 4 is upon us again! I read somewhere that we have 7 Wednesdays until Christmas!! Although this term can tend to be a busy one, I am challenged to focus on the things I am grateful for in each day. We can become so busy and forget to stop and smell the roses. I don’t want to forget to stop… Let’s make time for the “roses”.

I recently read an article on building resilience in kids and I thought I’d share a few keys from Linda Stade:-

Resilience in an unpredictable world is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.

  1. Safe adults – having a meaningful relationship with someone who is approachable and consistent is invaluable to a child. It is one of the pillars of building resilience.
  2. Ritual – Ritual is inherent to all cultures worldwide. They are a method humans have developed to cope with change and to celebrate the cycles of life. The beauty of rituals comes in the safe space they provide for people. Weddings are different around the world but they all incorporate ritual and they all celebrate a new beginning.
  3. Involvement in communities – When a child is part of a community they are part of something bigger than themselves. When you are part of something bigger than yourself you are stronger. You are more permanent and you have a greater sense of identity. A resilient child recognises that they have a place and that they belong. Belonging is the starting point to positive wellbeing and powerful education.
  4. Mindfulness – is the process of consciously listening to your thoughts and being aware of which ones should be ignored and which are valuable. It is your brain evaluating itself and ensuring you stay ‘in the now’. The past is often connected with regret, guilt and shame. The anticipated future is often tied to anxiety and worry. If kids can stay in the ‘now’, life is much calmer.
  5. Model resilient behaviour – it is impossible to stress too highly the importance of role modelling in teaching emotional regulation and resilience. What we need to do is role model recovery. There is no set time schedule for recovery, but discussion about the fact that it is happening is important. Talk about and name the feelings. Kids should see that it is normal to experience ups and downs in life. They need to see and hear you recognise that the bad times will get better and the good times won’t last forever.

A reminder that I am at school on a Monday and Tuesday, please feel free to pop in or give me a call.

Take care

Chevonne

From The Chaplain

The one important thing all our kids should learn about.

Many of us watch on as our children feel anxious at times, wishing we could magically make their anxiety disappear. Surely their lives would be easier, their days calmer and their moods happier if we could somehow keep this anxiety away?

Yet, we can’t.

Because the reality is, anxiety is a universal human experience.

That’s right, we ALL feel anxious sometimes.

In fact, we’d be in trouble if we didn’t.

There’s a helpful analogy that’s often used, that likens anxiety to a smoke alarm.

You see, when there’s a fire present, a smoke alarm sounds and we fly into action, ready to combat the blaze or to escape; But for many children, this alarm can become a little too sensitive. It can start to sound when it needn’t. When this happens, our kids will feel anxious in situations in which there’s nothing to fear.

Because they incorrectly sense danger, children may start to avoid activities that they should otherwise be enjoying – like class performances, sleepovers or school camps.

They can also spend a lot of time worrying, asking a seemingly never-ending stream of questions that begin with the words, ‘What if…’ And understandably, the sound of repeated false alarms can be both stressful and exhausting for our little ones.

But why stop there? Given that ALL of our children will feel anxious from time to time; shouldn’t we actually be educating all of our kids about anxiety – about what it is; why it’s helpful; and how to stay in charge of it?

Naturally, it’s hard for our kids to feel in control of something that they’ve not been taught about. I imagine it’s also hard for you too, as a parent or educator, to teach your children about something you may never learned about either.

As a Child Psychiatrist, here’s where I suggest you start:

  • Teach your child that anxiety is a normal, safe and often helpful feeling
  • Normalise anxiety – tell stories of times that you’ve felt anxious and of how brave you’ve felt when you’ve faced your fears
  • Books are a wonderful tool for teaching children about anxiety. They teach children that they’re not alone in their experience and can provide both practical guidance and reassurance in a non-threatening way.
  • Teach your child that, just like the rest of their body, they’re in charge of their thoughts and that these thoughts, in turn, influence how they feel

As your child learns more about anxiety and how to manage it in situations they might’ve been otherwise tempted to avoid, they will steadily gain a sense of mastery and control.

And that’s when the magic happens. To truly make our children’s lives easier, their days calmer and their moods happier, we don’t need to make their anxiety disappear. We just need to help them master it.

By Dr Kaylene Henderson

Taken from Maggie Dent’s Blog; Maggie is an author, educator, & parenting & resilience specialist. She is a dedicated advocate to quietly changing lives in our families and communities.

This term we will look at more posts from Maggie Dent, she has some great resources on her website.

God bless

Chevonne