Respectful Relationships Program - Prep S
In Prep S, we have been focusing on the feelings of Angry or Sad using information and activities from the school’s “Kids Matter” Social and Emotional Learning Resources.
The learning focus of this activity was on emotions - being angry or sad.
The children rolled a dice and whichever number came up, they had to think of a number of situations where they have become angry or sad.
Afterwards, the children were put into groups to play act a situation where they became angry or sad and worked out a solution to the issue.
It is through these positive social and emotional learning activities that children recall, experience and practise positive social behaviours, to help embed them in daily behavior, interactions and relationships.
Published by EBPS on 24th May 2018
WELLBEING in Prep H
As part of our Personal and Social Awareness program in Prep H we have been learning to understand that there are many different types of families and the children have been sharing stories about their families. We have been talking about some of the ways we feel in different situations and learning some new vocabulary to describe our own and other people’s emotions.
“The best thing about my family is….” Quotes from children around the text??
Bastien - “I like going on adventures with my dad.”
Healey – “I have my dog in my family and he follows me everywhere I go.”
Goldie – “My Dad and I take my dog to the park and she runs after the ball. My dog’s name is Rosie. She fetches the ball and sometimes she even goes in the pool to get the ball.”
Max – “I have a baby sister called Rosie – she watches when I play with my cars.”
Jarvis – “We like to go camping.”
Jamie – “My family is my mum and my dad and my brother. We go to the museum with rides. My Grandpa lives in my house too”
Cain – “My daddy fixes cars.”
Imogen – “When we play outside in the back yard with my dog.”
Evelyn – “My kitten always purrs on me when it wants to sleep on my lap.”
Melina – “When my brother plays with me at Lego but sometimes he plays on the computer.”
Ginger – “My favourite time is when me and Lenny have a bath with Otis.”
On Wednesday, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Ginger’s mum Fiona and Ginger’s baby brother Otis. The children were delighted when Ginger and Fiona gave Otis a bath and massage in the classroom. The children were asked, “How do you think Otis feels when he is having his bath?
“He is happy because he is smiling.” “He feels relaxed”.
Published by EBPS on 10th May 2018
A BIG Thank You
Rather than accepting a fee for her graphic design work on our East Bentleigh Snakes and Ladders game, Tania Ennor and her family made the decision to donate the money back to the school.
Last term we were able to buy $1000 dollars worth of new books for our reading program thanks to the generosity of the Ennor/Moore family.
The books have been especially chosen for their suitability for reluctant older readers. Barrington Stokes specialise in developing books that are easier to read, but of high interest to older readers. Each title has been purchased in lots of six to enable teachers to use the books for teaching reading skills and concepts.
We would like to say a HUGE thank you to the Ennor/Moore family for enabling us to purchase such worthwhile additions to our reading program.
Thoughts on Generosity by East Bentleigh Primary students
Generosity is when someone is very kind. By Tahmina 3-4 R
Generosity is when you see someone being kind and you have tears in your eyes. By Bavreet 3-4 R
Generosity is like being kind to someone in a way that makes them feel happy. You can be generous by giving someone something or even asking someone if they want to play with you. By Camilo 3L
Being generous is being kind to people even if they’re not kind to you. By Amuro 3L
Generosity means letting people have a turn even though you really want to have a turn. Letting someone have your ticket to something if you can see it another time but they can’t. By Eme 3L
Published by EBPS on 26th April 2018
Published by EBPS on 8th March 2018
Welcome to the 2018 school year at East Bentleigh Primary School, to both our old and new families.
I find the beginning of each year is exciting, full of newness, anticipation and naturally some trepidation, or even anxiety.
It’s good to remember that anxiety is a bit like a wave it peaks and eventually lessens and often disappears. We can learn to ride that wave and stay on top of anxious feelings by doing something to change or re-direct the feeling.
To manage any feelings we first need to be able to notice what is going on in both our minds and our bodies, so it is important to sit quietly and give ourselves some attention.
Once we have identified an anxious, or nervous feeling, there many strategies we can use to help us ride that wave.
For adults and older children, try breathing exercises and activities, which calm the body and slow the thinking.
For younger children perhaps try some of the following:
* Colouring in – go slow, relax
* Count up and down- sit on the floor and count to 5, stand up and count to seven and repeat 4 times.
* Sit under your favourite tree (or imagine sitting under it) Climb up and find a favourite spot. Draw it.
* Tapping- tap your fingers rhythmically over your heart, while saying yes- at least 30 times.
* Help someone and make their day.
* Trace a BIG number 8 in the air over and over. Now turn it on its side and trace it sideways in the air. Now trace it on your arm or leg.
* Laugh like a lion- imagine how a lion would laugh, then do it loud and strong.
* Go through the alphabet and name a vegetable or fruit that begins with each letter.
* Imagine you have an apple in each cheek. You have to lift those apples, so smile with both your eyes and mouth and lift those apples.
These are a few ideas that may help children re-direct unhelpful thought and feelings. They are from a great little set of cards by Selina Byrne and Katie Jardine and are available on line from St Lukes Innovative resources.
We have many new families in our school this year, so I thought I would include a Friendly February calendar that I received from Mark from ‘Action For Happiness’ in the UK. Here at East Bentleigh I believe we are terrific at extending the hand of support and friendship and this calendar has some lovely ideas that we can share with our children.
Warm Regards, Lee Jellis - Wellbeing Coordinator
Published by EBPS on 8th February 2018
World Kindness Day
Monday 13 November was World Kindness Day. 3A organised a ‘Caught Being Kind’ activity for the whole school.
Children and adults were invited to ‘catch’ someone in a random act of kindness around the school. They then wrote the act of kindness and the person’s name on one of the fish in the box on the shelf in front of the office.
The fish were then put into the blue ‘pool’ on the wall in the hallway. To help make EBPS a ‘school’ of kindness fish.
Published by EBPS on 30th November 2017
Class 4S - Wellbeing “Buddy Books”
Class 4S have been writing Buddy Books during our Wellbeing sessions. The books have been written to encourage empathy, self-esteem and confidence. Here is an example written and illustrated by Pip and Grace.
Only One Me
This is White
White is sad. He thinks he’s not cool like Red or Blue. He is bland.
He thinks he is not happy like Green and Yellow.
He tried to put a suit on. It was purple but he couldn’t copy Purple.
He wanted his own colour. But then White remembered there were two reds and three greens but only one…
Published by EBPS on 16th November 2017
Wellbeing in the Classrooms
In our class, we have been looking at personal strengths. Personal strengths are something that you can remember about yourself when you’re sad. For example, some people are helpful and some people are good sports, or people are kind. Personal strengths are not things like being good at football or Minecraft because they’re talents. Personal strengths are inside things that make you a good person.
We looked at a list of personal strengths. We had to choose one that we felt we had and wrote it on a colourful piece of paper. Then we showed our teacher and she corrected our spelling. We wrote over it in felt pen and decorated it, then we stuck it up on our door.
By Madison and Jethro and Max from 2S
In our class, we have been making a gratitude chain. We wrote something we are grateful for on a coloured strip of paper and made it into a chain to decorate our room.
We have also been looking at personal strengths and strengths in others.
We laid some strength cards on the floor and chose a strength we thought we had. We told our partner a story about when we had used that strength.
After that we drew a name out of a hat and then we chose a strength card that we thought suited that person. When we shared what we had chosen with the class, everyone seemed to be able see that strength in the person.
By Jasmine, Ameika and Anju from 4S
Published by EBPS on 19th October 2017
Celebrating 100 years of Waldorf Education
The human being is a social creature. We all need connection; to ourselves, family, friends, co-workers, community and ultimately our world.
Casandra Brené Brown, an American scholar, author, and public speaker, puts it this way; “Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives and without it there is suffering.”
In the spirit of connection, East Bentleigh Primary School is participating in a project developed to help celebrate 100 years of Steiner/Waldorf education.
The first Waldorf school was founded in Stuttgar, Germany and today there are over 1,100 Waldorf schools and almost 2,000 Waldorf kindergartens in more than 70 countries around the globe.
Each Steiner/ Waldorf school has received 1,200 blank postcards already bearing all the different school addresses. The other side is empty, so that students can design and decorate it themselves and of course, add the name and address of our school. The whole school community can participate in the process, creating cards that reflect our school, to be sent all over the world.
We have already received a number of postcards from schools around the world, including Tanzania, Netherlands, India and Germany.
Every child will have the opportunity to create their own unique postcard and to facilitate international postage we ask that you send $3 to cover this cost.
Connection is important and believing we belong to something so much larger than our own small part of the world is humbling. Connecting globally gives us the opportunity to recognise the diversity and richness of cultures existing on our planet and can help us understand that in spite of our diversity, we are not so different after all!
It happens to every child in one form or another – anxiety. As parents, we would like to protect our children from life’s anxious moments, but navigating and working through anxiety is an essential life skill that will help them for years to come.
Everyone has things that help them feel calmer, both adults and children. Helping children to become more aware of the way they function, including what triggers them to become anxious, what helps them to relax and encouraging them to believe they can gain control over their inner experience, can really help them in managing their emotions and their challenges.
A calming down box can be a great go-to when your child needs some tools to help them calm down or relax.
To do this activity: Use a box and help the child come up with objects to put in the box. The objects should be things that help them to relax and calm down. Some examples of things that can be included are the following:
* stress balls
* wonder tubes; tubes with glitter and confetti
* lavender scented play-dough; lavender can be a soothing scent
* sensory slime; home-made slime with glitter or lavender seeds embedded in it
* essential oils to help with anxiety
* calming music; a CD or something to symbolize listening to music
* paper, pencil, crayons, markers
* cards with calming activities to do; i.e. rub your tummy, brush your pet, hum a song
* a book; especially one about stress-relief or anxiety
This could be a great holiday activity, with fun to be had making play dough, slime, stress balls and glitter shakers. Children are far more likely to use and value things they have made themselves. Then, when they are faced with anxiety or stress, they will have some wonderful resources at their fingertips.
Published by EBPS on 21st September 2017
To Lift Your Spirits Get into the Garden
Fathers Day tend to get us thinking about fathers. My Dad and I shared a love of gardening. He was a meticulous gardener and spent most of his weekend in the small slice of paradise he had created, however as he got older his severe arthritis left him unable to enjoy this simple pleasure. Before he died I was able to restore his unkempt garden to something resembling it’s former self and I know that did more to lift his spirits than almost anything else I could have done.
Gardens have long been places of solace, peace and happiness. Places to exercise our creativity and flair. The world was even said to have started with a glorious garden, according to many religious traditions.
Gardening has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and is known to be a mood enhancer. It reduces stress and has even been shown to reduce the risk of serious illness, such as stroke, heart disease and osteoporosis.
Research shows that people who spend lots of time around plants tend to have better relationships with others. Studies have shown that people who spend more time around plants are much more likely to try and help others, and often have better social relationships. People who care for nature are more likely to care for others, reaching out and forming shared bonds around common interests. Extended exposure to nature and wildlife increases people’s compassion for each other as it increases people’s compassion for the environment in which they live.
If you are not lucky enough to have a garden you can still enjoy the benefits of gardening. Indoor gardening has been shown to have many of the benefits of outdoor gardening.
And if you really feel you have a brown thumb and gardening is just not for you, just getting outdoors, walking, noticing and appreciating what is around us is good for both body and soul.
Published by EBPS on 7th September 2017
Responding to Bullying
Bullying used to be thought of as just part of childhood, a process by which we learnt to ‘toughen up.’ Today we no longer think that way. We now know that bullying is harmful and can lead to long-term problems and issues for those who are subject to it.
There are three basic types of bullying, physical, verbal and social. Physical bullying involves aggression or physical violence in order to coerce, intimidate or cause harm to a person. Verbal bullying is when words are consistently used to cause harm to a person and social bullying is when a person is purposefully excluded, blamed and gossiped about. Of these three, social bullying is the most difficult to deal with, as it is often behind the scenes, with the only obvious evidence, the distress of the person on the receiving end.
At East Bentleigh Primary we recognise bullying has no part in school life and work together to solve issues. To guide us we developed a ‘response to bullying document’, currently known as our ‘Safe Schools Policy.’ (Name change coming soon!!) This is a comprehensive document that describes the many forms of bullying, examples of bullying, affects of bullying and consequences of bullying. It describes in detail steps and responsibilities of school staff, parents and students in response to bullying and guides teachers in their investigations.
Included in this policy are a number of appendices, including reporting procedures for both the person reporting and the staff member receiving the report, which should be completed when making a formal complaint. This helps to ensure that information and investigations are duly documented for referral and enables a situation to be appropriately shared.
Please familiarise yourself with this document. It is on our website under the ‘Resources’ section with a drop down bar to ‘Policies, Forms and Documents,’ then click on Safe School Policy. Discuss the document with your child and ensure they know there is a child friendly bullying report form they can complete, if they feel there is bullying occurring to them or to another (pictured here). If you require a hard copy, please speak with your child’s teacher.
Published by EBPS 24th August 2017
Gratitude - good for your health and general wellbeing
There’s an old saying that if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness.
A growing body of research over the last few decades shows that actively practicing gratitude is a powerful tool for generating many physical and psychosocial benefits.
In fact there is now a great deal of knowledge and understanding around how gratitude makes us happier and more resilient.
Perhaps most tellingly, researchers found that positive changes were markedly noticeable to others.
Here are some simple things you can do and encourage your kids to do, to experience the benefits of gratitude.
Thankfulness feels good, it’s good for you and it’s good for the people around you too.
It’s such a win-win-win, why would you not practice it.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School On August 11, 2017
Why practice mindfulness with your child.
The following is an excerpt from an article by Chris Bergstrom, founder of the ‘Blissful Kids’ website. This website is an excellent resource for mindfulness activities for kids, teens and yourself. I highly recommend it. blissfulkids.com
Maybe you already practice and want to keep going … Or you want to get started. I want to help you in both cases...
I'm Chris Bergstrom, a dad and a certified mindfulness facilitator. I also founded Blissful Kids. A top destination for parents who want to practice mindfulness with their kids.
I want to share a trick with you to help you keep your practice going after the initial excitement. I'm sure you know how hard it can be to sustain a new habit … I remember how hard it felt when I began with my son Anton.
Let me share something with you ... When I first started out with my son Anton I was so excited that I wrote a "mindfulness mission statement" ... I know, it sounds a little scary but it was a simple list of my WHY's. WHY I want to practice together with my son. I later found out that writing this list was worth gold. Now, I’m going to share it with you …
Here's my "mindfulness mission statement":
I want my son Anton to grow up emotionally intelligent, gentle, aware, and happy!
I want him to know that…
I want my son Anton to realize that…
You obviously don't have to write a "mission statement" like this but it's probably a good idea to spend some time thinking about your own reasons.
Ask yourself: why do I want to practice with my kid? Understanding your motivation will help you keep going!
When I think I'm too busy to practice, or think practice is boring or hard, I look at my list of WHY's and remember why our practice is worth the effort.
Your child will learn awesome skills to …
These skills will help him or her, your family and all the people your child interacts with.
It's a beautiful gift!
So, remember to feel good about yourself when you practice. You are giving your child a beautiful gift.
Go ahead if you didn't already ... ask yourself: Why do I want to practice with my kid?
Snakes and Ladders Game Launch
Monday 24th July 2017, saw the OFFICIAL launch of our East Bentleigh Snakes and Ladders game, created by our whole school community. We had two very special guests, Stuart Andrews our ‘Senior Education Improvement Leader’ and Lynn Vennings leader of Student Wellbeing at a regional level. Mr Andrews spoke of the importance of realizing that we have not just produced a game, but a valuable resource for learning and sharing ideas about getting along, managing ourselves and keeping safe.
A HUGE THANKYOU to Tania Ennor, (Tilly’s mum), for her amazing work in designing and preparing the artwork for both the board and the cards. Tania is a talented Graphic Designer and was able to take the drawings and ideas from our school community and make them into our incredible Snakes and Ladders game.
Another BIG THANK YOU to Carol Diggerson, one of our dedicated aides. Carol made all the calico bags, big and small, on her trusty sewing machine over a weekend. We REALLY appreciate your help Carol!
And of course a MONSTER THANK YOU to all the teachers, children and parents who helped our Snakes and Ladders dream come true. We hope you enjoy using and sharing the resource you have created.
What is perseverance and why should we want it or need it? Perseverance is the drive that helps you to get past the hard stuff to get to what you want or need, that extra effort that keeps you trying even though you want to quit. Without perseverance, you may not reach your goals, or get where you want to be.
To persevere means that when you are faced with a challenge you don’t just stop and give up. You problem solve to work a way around, or through the difficulty. Your difficulty might be something you have to work through with your mind, or it might be a physical challenge, or even an emotional difficulty. Using perseverance requires patience and self-control. It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and say, “Too hard,” but when we persevere it means we stop and work through things.
It’s important to realise that perseverance is not, ‘don’t give up no matter what’ or, ‘never quit.’ Sometimes even though we do our best, we need to move on, or change the goal. Maybe we need a smaller goal, or maybe just a rest until we’re ready to try again. Sometimes we need more support to help us through and all of this is ok.
We all use perseverance daily. Anything we find difficult requires perseverance to get through. Think of a baby learning to walk. Without perseverance it would never happen. Think also how we respond to babies learning to walk; every effort is rewarded with praise and encouragement, no effort is considered a failure, or a waste of time.
Last week class 2L children worked through an activity that required teamwork, problem solving and perseverance. Each team was given two rolls of toilet paper and instructed to work together to wrap someone in their team up like a mummy. The catch was, every time the toilet paper broke, they had to completely unravel their person, tape the paper together and begin again. Here are some of their comments relating to perseverance.
We chose one person in our group and we wrapped them in toilet paper. It was really hard because the paper kept breaking and then we had to unwrap them and tape the toilet paper together and start again. We had to keep going because our goal was to completely wrap the person, except their head and we really wanted every group to succeed. Perseverance means to keep going and to solve any problems that come up. We had two people wrapping and two people in charge of taping when the paper broke.
Perseverance means you keep going until you get it right. Sometimes you have to give up because the goal was too hard, or maybe you need to have a break. It’s ok to have a rest because you can go back to it, or try again, or maybe make a different goal.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School On June 30, 2017
Wellbeing activities in Prep K & 1D
Wellbeing in Prep K
Prep K have been learning lots about working in teams and how to get along with our friends. Our big buddies helped us make a friendship web while we were all standing in a circle. We had to throw a ball of wool to each other and say what made that person a good friend. A few weeks later the preps repeated the activity, this time making it a permanent feature in the classroom as part of our display board. We have learnt that we are all connected through friendship, we are all a big team who help each other.
We have also been practicing being mindful. We’ve been listening to a beautiful CD. Our favourite song is called the ‘Humming Song’. It’s about the small things in life that make us smile such as the sound of laughter, dolphins playing, the sun rising and setting. When we listen we sit in a big circle, close our eyes and hum to the tune. It’s a very relaxing and calming moment.
Wellbeing in Class 1D
This week in 1D we looked at a story book written by a descendant of the Kailaroi and Yuwalayaay people in south-west Queensland. It was about a KOOKOO KOOKABURRA the greatest story teller in the animal realm. The animals enjoy many funny stories however when KOOKABURRA starts to tease theanimals in his stories they turn away from him and he feels very lonely. An old bird tells him the story about the BOOMERANG which sends out kindness and in return brings more kindness back.
In discussion with the class we discovered that the boomerang resembles our invisible buckets because when we are kind and helpful to somebody we fill the bucket not just for the person being helped but also our own bucket and we can feel content and happy.
Kindness is like a boomerang - if you throw it often, it comes back often. But if you never take a chance to pick it up and throw it out there, then you may not ever get it back ‘Kookoo Kookaburra’ Gregg Dreise.
So we wondered if another word for “bucketfiller” could actually be the aboriginal word “Boomerang”. We might just use that word for a while to see if we are right about it.
We also then painted big boomerangs and many stars of kindness flying away and returning in our painting lesson as a follow up.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School On June 20, 2017
Generosity is linked to compassion and empathy. Generosity is the capacity to give, not based on the response or behaviour of others, but from a deep sense of wanting to share and spread something positive. Generosity does not only mean giving other people your money and things. It also means giving your time, attention, hard work, patience, kind words and talents to help and encourage others.
There is something really special about generous people, they are a joy to be around and somehow feel safe, as they tend to be generous in their appraisal of us as well. A generous person has a positive bias when viewing their world and those within it.
Studies now show that generosity is in our best interests and is one of the keys to positive mental and physical health. Not only does generosity reduce stress, support one’s physical health, enhance one’s sense of purpose, and naturally fight depression, it is also shown to increase one’s lifespan.
So how can we teach our children to be generous?
Firstly we have to practice generosity ourselves. Children will watch and copy what we do.
We need to talk about it. Point out when others are generous and praise our children when they perform a generous act.
Encourage it. Look for opportunities to help your children practice being generous and doing things for others. Visit a neighbor and offer to help, or make a special gift for someone, who least expects it, for no reason at all.
Read and tell stories of generosity. The following are some of my favourites and are beautiful examples of love and generosity.
Pine and the Winter Sparrow by Alexis York Lumbard. Based on a Native Americanfable, it tells the story of an injured sparrow who cannot fly south for the winter. All of the other trees turn the little sparrow away, except for the pine tree, who offers the bird shelter for the winter. Due to this act of generosity, the Creator decided that the pine tree would be rewarded by not losing its leaves in the winter. And thus it is due to its innate kindness that the pine tree stays green all year long.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silversteini is a classic book about the selfless nature of giving. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. A beautiful story that I cannot read to a class without crying.
The message at the heart of this simple story about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions, is that sharing with others is much more fun than having something alone.
We cannot speak of tales for children about compassion and generosity without mentioning Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince. Together the golden statue of a Prince and the swallow who has taken shelter with him give tirelessly to those who are in need. I challenge you to read this one without shedding a tear. (or maybe that’s just me)
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School On May 25, 2017
Wellbeing learning in Class PR and 3L
Social and emotional learning in the Steiner Prep R
In our Steiner Prep we work with positive strengths.
We hold a ‘Strengths Circle’ each week where we share our experiences of what a strength is and acknowledge the strengths of the people around us. We discuss how these strengths are able to contribute to family and school life. In our Strengths Circle we also consider a theme. Lately we have been talking about the idea of responsibility and what responsibility means to each of us.
Here are some of the responses …
Teacher: ‘When we think of the word 'responsibility' what might we mean?’
Child: ‘My cousin.’
Teacher: ‘What particularly about your cousin might be related to the word 'responsibility?'
Child: ‘Me and my cousin do jobs at home together.’
Teacher: ‘Good. Sharing jobs at home. That's a way of taking responsibility.’
Teacher: ‘What are some of the ways we may take 'responsibility’ for something ?
Child: ’Pets, when I’m looking after my pets.’
Child: ‘Looking after my dog.’
Child: ‘Taking my lunchbox to the kitchen after school.’
Teacher’s question: ‘What are some 'responsibilities' we have at school?’
Child: 'Washing dishes'
Child: ‘Taking out the compost.’
Child: ''Waiting for our turn."
Teacher: 'There are many ways that we can take responsibility for things. It is great that we all have responsibilities at home and at school.
Something to ponder: Can you think of any responsibilities that you might have at home? Perhaps you take the dog for walk or clear the kitchen table after dinner with your family. Maybe you have chores that you do such as tidy your bedroom, take the rubbish out or even vacuum the house. While I think we all enjoy having responsibilities perhaps the greatest responsibility is the responsibility we take for ourselves in all that we say and do.
Growth Mindset Learning in Class 3L
Since the beginning of the year Class 3L have been learning about Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset theory teaches us all that with persistence, resilience, effort, learning from our mistakes and trying different strategies we can all improve in areas we think that we 'are not good at'. If you are interested in finding out more I recommend looking up Carol Dweck, the Professor of Psychology, who is leading the research in this area.
As part of this learning Class 3L have been talking and learning about how mistakes can help our learning. To help our learning we explored a wonderful book called 'My Beautiful Oops' which explores and promotes seeing mistakes as an opportunity. Inspired by the book Class 3L had a lot of fun creating their own version of the book.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School On May 12, 2017
Child says or does something to another child that causes hurt.
“Say you’re sorry,” the wrong doer is urged.
Seconds pass, then… “Oh alright I’m sorry.”
“Ok, but don’t do it again,” says the child who was hurt.
This superficial display of humility and forgiveness doesn’t teach kids anything about true humility, forgiveness, or how to repair relationships.
No one’s story has been heard, the background may remain grey and fuzzy, no one’s feelings have been acknowledged and therefore there has been no opportunity to empathise, essential for true regret or remorse.
Helping children move towards the ability to give and receive forgiveness requires long term coaching and opportunities forpractise if the kind of forgiveness that restores relationships is to develop.
Sometimes children (and even adults) have some misconceptions about saying sorry or forgiving someone who has wronged them. They may see it as a weakness, or that forgiving means they’re a bit of a pushover. Parents can teach children that forgiveness might mean I give up my right to revenge, but not my right to expect change.
They may believe that if they forgive another who has hurt them, that their feelings don’t matter. It is important then, when talking to children who are experiencing conflict, that all sides are heard respectfully and feelings are acknowledged. Sincere apologies are far more likely when the other recognises that they too would feel hurt if the shoe were on the other foot.
In their book, The Five Languages of Apology, Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas describe five elements of a good apology.
Expressing regret – “I’m sorry for . . .” (Be specific about what you alone did and acknowledge the hurt you caused.)
Accepting responsibility – “I was wrong.”
Making restitution – “What can I do to make it right?”
Genuinely repenting – “I’ll try not to do that again.”
Requesting forgiveness – “Will you please forgive me?”
In order to learn about true humility and forgiveness, children need to see it practiced and modelled.
And that means us, the adults in their lives.
The following is therefore worth thinking about
What do we believe or feel about forgiveness?
How prepared are we to forgive?
How willing are we to admit we are wrong and apologise
What good does it do me when I forgive someone?
By Mia 2L
Forgiveness is when you forgive someone if they’ve done something wrong. You have to use your words of course to explain why you forgive them. When you forgive someone it can make someone feel better and makes your friendship better. Before you forgive someone maybe you’re upset, but after you forgive them you feel better about them.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School On May 5, 2017
Wellbeing in the classrooms - 2L & 5D
Wellbeing in Class 2L
The slow motion game
We worked together in a game to help us make a calmer classroom.
We talked about how quiet time helps us when things get hard.
In this game, everyone followed the leader, trying to copy them exactly, like we were a giant mirror. The leader has to move in slow motion.
We talked about…
We listened to the glockenspiel and raised and lowered our hands to the notes going up and down.
We talked about how important it is to tell what’s happened clearly. We talked about…
Then we played a game, ‘Treasure Hunt’.
The teacher hid an object and then gave instructions to us so we could find the object.
After the teacher did it a few times, we got to have a go at hiding something and giving instructions to find it.
We brainstormed things we do when we get angry that are not helpful.
We talked about what we can do that would help.
We talked about or practiced 10 ways for helping us when we get angry. Like;
Wellbeing in Class 5D
We explored positive and negative emotions, while playing vocabulary games. Subsequently, in pairs we translated our emotions into written language to reflect the contrast between the positive and negative feelings.
The beautiful bird flies high into the sky,
Her wings spread out like the clouds.
She flies around the old gum tree,
When suddenly she hears a bang.
The bird turns around to see the hunter
with gun looking for animals to kill,
He gives the bird a despicable smile and he goes to shoot,
but the bird flies away with horror.
She hears another bang and falls to the ground.
By Zoe and Myfy
Enthusiastic holy men happily bathing in the magnificent flowing water of the River Ganges. They watched the beautiful birds glide through the fresh air at a terrific speed and plunge into the sky blue water. While other birds gulp down the delicious shimmery fruit that hang from the mystical trees.
Suddenly, Trumpy the disgraceful elephant comes barging through the river making destruction and extreme waves. The frightened holy men pile out of the water screaming, and climb up the mysterious tree to safety. Trumpy coiled his long obnoxious trunk around the tree and shook it violently until all the holy men spill out one by one. Furiously Trumpy lay on the poor holy men until they were in such pain they perished.
By Hila and Jessi
Helping Children Through Conflict
All children experience conflict within friendships and connections, as a normal part of school life. They spend so much time together that to expect children to get along all the time is unreasonable.
Naturally children need support and guidance when experiencing conflict. How you respond as a parent can make a difference. To make a positive difference it is important you:
* Don’t take the conflict away from them - imposing your solution can leave them
feeling their wishes have not been considered
* Don’t take sides – they will be friends again and taking sides can make this awkward
for your child
* Don’t elevate what they are feeling - Children need to acknowledge what they are
feeling, but also to understand feelings pass
* Don’t devalue what they are feeling- Children need to understand their feelings are
valid in order to acknowledge and address them
The following advice for helping children manage conflict is taken from a KidsMatter Primary information sheet for families and school staff. View them all online at www.kidsmatter.edu.au
Key points for helping children resolve conﬂict
The ways that adults respond to children’s conﬂicts have powerful effects on their behaviour and skill development. Until they have developed their own skills for managing conﬂict effectively, most children will need very speciﬁc adult guidance to help them reach a good resolution.
Parents, carers and teaching staff can help children in sorting out conflict together, by seeing conﬂict as a shared problem that can be solved by understanding both points of view and ﬁnding a solution that everyone is happy with.
All children experience conflict within friendships and connections, as a normal part of school life. They spend so much time together that to expect children to get along all the time is unreasonable.
Guide and coach
When adults impose a solution on children it may solve the conﬂict in the short term, but it can leave children feeling that their wishes have not been taken into account. Coaching children through the conﬂict resolution steps helps them feel involved. It shows them how effective conﬂict resolution can work so that they can start to build their own skills.
Listen to all sides without judging
To learn the skills for effective conﬂict resolution children need to be able to acknowledge their own point of view and listen to others’ views without fearing that they will be blamed or judged. Being heard encourages children to hear and understand what others have to say and how they feel, and helps them to learn to value others.
Support children to work through strong feelings
Conﬂict often generates strong feelings such as anger or anxiety. These feelings can get in the way of being able to think through conﬂicts fairly and reasonably. Acknowledge children’s feelings and help them to manage them. It may be necessary to help children calm down before trying to resolve the conﬂict.
Praise children for ﬁnding a solution and carrying it out.
If an agreed solution doesn’t work out the ﬁrst time, go through the steps again to understand the needs and concerns and ﬁnd a different solution.
Aim for Win-Win
Helping children to negotiate a win-win solution by encouraging them to listen to each other, to see another point of view, and to problem-solve so everyone's happy promotes equality, fairness and avoids an unhelpful ‘win-lose’ mentality.
Why should we aim for win-win? Because ultimately children who know how to successfully manage conflict are happier, have better friendships and learn better at school.
*The information in this resource is based on Wertheim, E., Love, A., Peck, C. & Littlefield, L. (2006). Skills for resolving conflict (2nd Edition). Melbourne: Eruditions Publishing.
Written by East Bentleigh Primary School On March 9, 2017