Working with Personality & Positivity
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QUEST Conference 2018 York Region DSB

Celebrate International Day of Happiness March 20, 2018!

Sharing acts of happiness with others is a healthy, fun way of celebrating happiness every day. In fact at happpyacts.org they create monthly calendars with daily suggestions that you can follow that often include ways to share happiness . It’s a fun calendar for posting in your office or at home.

Why share happiness with others? Why not just do something for myself? Isn’t it just one more thing to add to my daily to-do list? Sharing happiness actually adds to your joy, so in essence when you share a happy act you are adding to your own happiness – as well as the other person’s happiness. Double pleasure.

If you think about it, you likely already do a lot of things for others. Waking your family up. Making breakfast. Driving kids/spouse/colleagues to school or work. Volunteering. Going for a walk with someone. Meeting for coffee. And the list goes on.

For me, happiness is often a colourful smoothie that I make with fruits and veggies. Sharing this smoothie with a loved one or a friend – with a bouquet of flowers on the table is truly a happy act I love to share.

 

Have a Happy Day!smoothie

Happy Halloween!

Early this morning we watched the parade of kids in a public school displaying their chosen costumes. As we stood in the hallway I couldn’t help but notice the adults’ joy-filled  faces as they spotted their loved one in his/her chosen character of the day. Smiles and waves from the kids reflected their joy as they paraded through for all of us to ooh and ahh over.

I know there is the anticipation of treats later, but for this morning there was just a whole lot of contentment and pure joy in the making of memories. In our resilience workshops we ask on a scale of 1-10 what makes you the happiest? Today I believe I saw many 10’s reflected throughout an ordinary public school hallway!

To make you smile, here is a mom and son acting out “Me and my shadow”. Happy  Halloween everyone! shadow

How do I get my boy to talk?

I was recently asked this question by a parent.

Well, first of all, a clear understanding of why he is not talking is critical, and this could range from the child being an introvert through to big issues at school such as bullying, poor marks, or a lack of self esteem or resilience. From my experience in education and dealing with many parents and kids, I have found the root cause in many cases to be a fear or anxiety. No, maybe not fear of the parent, but maybe fear of what the parent may say or do.

 

Let’s examine things a little further. Do you know if your boy is an introvert or an extravert? It’s more than just about being shy, or outgoing – in fact, it really is not that at all. An introvert derives their energy internally, from within, and after a long day at school with many people and activities, they prefer to recharge on their own, often in a quiet space, free of distractions. The extravert, on the other hand, is stimulated by other people and may look for even more stimulation after a day at school. So what?

 

Well, as a parent of an introverted child, you will need to respect the need for down time and a special space. If you want to know about how the day has gone, or you just want to shoot the breeze, don’t expect much to happen. You need to be sensitive to an introvert’s needs and when they are ready, they will share. Often this requires active listening on your part, so that you can pick up on cues – something that is said in passing – that you can build a discussion on. Let conversation occur in their timing. The introvert child often struggles with making small talk, so don’t expect that to happen either.

 

On the other hand, if you are the parent of an extraverted child, you would think that they would come home ready to share all of the events of the day. Well, not necessarily so! They may be craving more interaction with more of their friends, so a one-on-one conversation may backfire with them. In fact, you may get some of the best conversation when you engage them in activities with other people – like some pick-up basketball or a going for a jog through the neighbourhood. Be aware that they usually enjoy an audience and that they may even speak before they think.

 

Another factor to consider and ask yourself is why do you feel they are not talking to you. It issue may go far beyond the introvert/extravert concept. Maybe they have been bullied, made fun of, or can’t handle the pressures of school. Maybe they broke up with their girlfriend and are devastated and don’t know where to turn. Whether introvert or extravert, the key here is letting them know that you are always available for support and unconditional love – whatever that may look like in your family unit. If they know that you will be there to uphold them, they will communicate in their time. They may be sharing a lot of information with their peers, looking for support and guidance there. When they find that avenue lacking, they will come to you. Countless studies have shown that kids will often communicate first with their peers, but they one they ultimately respect and depend upon is the parent.

 

So, don’t give up! Whether your boy is an introvert or an extravert, listen actively and commend them when they do engage in conversation. Always keep the lines of communication open.

Wayne Jones

Behavioural Individuality

I recently came upon the website http://www.b-di.com/  a site for understanding behavioural individuality. The applications to education and pedagogy should be obvious, but they are often overlooked or dismissed as not rooted in sufficient research. I have found quite the opposite. The understanding of temperament and its application to the classroom setting can yield big dividends for the savvy educator, and by extension, to the adroit administrator (whose “classroom” is the whole school). According to http://www.b-di.com/

“Programmatic research on temperament and education has been conducted by two researchers, Barbara Keogh at UCLA and Roy Martin at the University of Georgia. Much of Dr. Keogh’s work focused on special education students and how their behavioural style impacted their learning. She found that classroom teachers perceived a temperament dimension of ‘teachability’ in students, and it was the most important element in predicting how well youngsters would progress academically. This behavioral style characteristic was related to “easy temperament” in both special education and regular education children. Other temperament categories, called task orientation and reactivity were also related to educational functioning. Some temperamental features even predicted overall student achievement better than their scores on tests of cognitive ability!”

Definitely food for thought. This is what Kate Jones & Associates “Awesome Parenting Series” and other workshop offerings based on temperament theory is all about – deeply understanding the individual’s “colour” and then, “accentuating the positive”. In the next blog, I will reference the research of Roy Martin. Have a “colourful” day!

Wayne Jones, M. Ed.brain