Be Firm With Your Boy But Kind

One of the things I kept in mind when I dealt with children was to be clear about what I meant or wanted, while at the same time, I remained controlled, calm and kind. I noted that children were little human beings that had feelings and emotions that could be hurt or damaged and that their future depended on the experiences they’ve had over time. I saw situations where children were dealt with in very harsh ways that were really unnecessary. Whatever the point was that authority figures wanted to get over could have been done with kindness. The power plays were often quite evident in the interplay between children and authority figures and I made it a duty not to indulge in that kind of mistreatment of children, mine or other people’s.

I did my Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Toronto, and had an Environmental Science class with professor Bill Andrews. Professor Andrews and I talked often about teacher student relations and I recalled two takeaways that I got from the many conversations that we had. The first was that many teachers gave children a hard time. Now, you may well agree with that. I sure did remember one of my teachers who seemed to take pleasure in calling children embarrassing names as if to shame them. Certainly that’s not why children are sent to school. But, that happens and it should not. However, Professor Andrews said, “We don’t have to join to folks that give children a hard time”. That has never left me to this day. As I work with children in whatever setting, I think of making their lives a joyous and exciting experience. The other thing I got from Professor Andrews was his strategy of making children see my urgency in a request, by using the expression: “right now!” with a slightly raised voice. It worked without fail. It also avoided unpleasant backs and-forth and increasing arguments.

Children in general and boys in particular need to be acknowledged for who they are, what they’ve accomplished — however litter it appears to us, and they need to be encouraged to do the best they can. This must always be done with kindness. When they have to be corrected as often they must, that too must be done in manners that are firm but kind. It can be done and the results will be healthy. There is no worse feeling than a child to think that punishment is always being meted out with very little opportunity for correction. I remember telling many teachers that children should be corrected and criminals should be punished. After all, our little boys, indeed our teenagers need a lot of correction click here they need a lot of guidance. If you were to ask them they will tell you just that, too.

Let’s show our boys the beauty that they possess instead of making them feel that they only produce ugliness. Let’s not judge them simply by what we see externally. We can upgrade our methods of evaluation by recognizing that our boys are not only what we can see or hear about them. What they are deeper than their external attributes. When they speak, we must listen closely and be very slow to comment on what we hear. We must ask clarifying questions and think of the results of what we say. What we say must be filled with assurance, understanding, encouragement, and love. What a difference there will be if we do this for our boys. What a change there will be for them and for us, our communities, our world. For some helpful tips that teachers can use are found in this article, click here.click here

Until next time. Remember to purchase a copy of my bestselling book: DEFEATING THE ENEMY TO YOUR SUCCESS –How to Break Through to a Life of Wealth Creation and Freedom.


Buy Now Button

alevans07rev (6)


Buy Now Button

Book

A copy of my book on Wealth Creation and Freedom

C$20.00

Advertisements

It Feels Like Everybody is Against Me

Have you ever been at a point in your life where you felt that nothing was going right simply because everyone was against you? As irrational as that may seem, the way the feeling is explained by some who felt that way is that it seems that while others around them got a break or two for doing wrong things, they never seem to qualify for a break. One boy said< "that really hurts; it hurts a lot".

The thing is that, unless one has the capacity to empathize with that feeling, there could very easily be the thought that boys who act out because they feel that everyone is against them, are just weaklings who are incapable of coping with the contours of life. They do not have what it takes to survive and that is their problem. Have you ever dismissed someone's behaviour even though you did not know what caused it? I think a lot of us do just that. How often do we take the time to ask the appropriate questions that could better inform our thinking and hence our responses?

I believe that we can all agree that there are people who do not know why they never get breaks. Getting a break is for most people a bid deal. Imagine you were speeding, got stopped by the police who proceeded to walk back to the police vehicle with the seeming intention to write up a ticket. As he returned, you heard, "I'm giving you a break this time, but be careful to drive at the speed limit". Wouldn't your fast beating heart slow down and you breathe a sigh of relief? You can share a positive story with your family and friends, and you would think nicely of the officer. You see, unlike many things, getting a break is a bid deal and when there are those who never seem to have that kind of experience, it can be very frustrating and feel like, "everybody is against them".

I've come across scores of boys who tell me that they don't understand why they always seem to be on the wrong side of authorities, be they parents or teachers, and worse yet, the police. As a school principal, I relished the opportunity to give a child who seemed to be constantly "in trouble" a break. Very often such children took the act of forgiveness as a launching point to exhibit better behaviour. It brings me to the other point of this discussion, the act of forgiveness. To forgive is to take the sting out of any unpleasant experience. Forgiveness benefits both the person receiving forgiveness and the person giving it. Both persons receive a measure of wellness. And to forgive is not letting someone get away with wrong. What is does really is giving the offender a path to wholeness.

What I am saying is that we must invest in forgiveness more than we do condemning. Let's give our boys hope that things will get better. Give them a break here and there. After all, they are in construction and if you realize a construction site, it's really very messy during the building stage. But, when the building is finished, when everything is cleaned up, what a marvelous sight!

There is marvel within our boys. The construction state is often messy, but, let's understand the process and work with them. Stand where they stand. Sit where they sit. Listen to them and hear them out. They have marvelous designs within them. Now it's left for us to lead out those wonderful designs. Let's do it for them and for us.

Until next time. For more ideas to help us train our boy, get a copy of my blueprint for success book: DEFEATING THE ENEMY TO YOUR SUCCESS — How to Break Through to a Life of Wealth Creation and Freedom. Get your copy, now!


Buy Now Button

Book

A copy of my book on Wealth Creation and Freedom

C$20.00

alevans07rev (6)

Sir, You Talk to Us!

A few years ago, I signed up to teach summer school with the Toronto District School Board. My students were pursuing their Grade 11 credit. Some of them did not make it in the regular semester, while others were “fast tracking” — getting ahead with additional credits. The opportunity to teach during the summer break was not only lucrative, but, it allowed me to support students who may have fallen to bad times during the regular school semester. I always like the challenge of helping others who experience difficulty.

When students have free time, they often talk about the things that are interesting to them. Things that have profound effects on their lives. The kind of conversations they engage in at this time is usually real to them and they often talk freely, that is, if they know no one who shouldn’t be listening is hearing their heart-felt stories. I was with a group of students during the break and they engaged me in conversation. I did as much as I could to provide candid answers to their questions. Whatever they found in my answers encouraged them to ask questions without relenting. I cannot forget to this day what I saw in the question of one student who asked: “Sir, which school do you teach during the regular semester”? I responded by asking the student why she wanted to know where I taught. She replied, “Because I wish you can teach at my school”. My well prepared response was: “Why should you have me twice, when others have not had me once”! We all laughed. I contemplated the question and realized what students may be missing in their regular schooling.

What I did with all students, no matter their age, was to give them information that could last them a lifetime. To speak to me was to receive some word or encouragement that can be of help now and in the future. I realized that the Grade 11 students that I taught during summer school, these and others, like to hear stories. Stories about life. Stories about real life as a little child, life as a teenager, life as an adult. I recognized that for many teenage students, there is a wonder about the reality of their lives. They seem to wonder if it is okay that they make mistakes. In fact, some of the students told me that their parents appear not to have done anything wrong. They seem not to have made any of the kinds of mistakes that they were making. So, to some extent, they felt like they were “crazy” or that something sinister was happening to them.

Somehow, the way I presented life to them gave them some hope. When they realized that I too, as a teenager, made mistakes, they realized how normal they were. They began to relax and release the stress the suppressed their effort and stall their drive. Yes, they realized that their seeming “crazy” behaviour was very normal behaviour. Their moodiness, their grumpiness, their occasional angry outbursts at friends, teachers, or their parents; had everything to do with the normal course of life. The normal course of growing through the teen years. When a student said to me “Sir, you talk to us”. I wondered if there was a wall between them and their teachers during the regular semester.

talk

You see, more than you know, teenagers want to have conversations. They want to ask questions. In as much as they may suggest to know it all, they are usually longing for grown-ups, indeed, for parents to engage them in conversation. Accept it! Teenagers, what do they know? If they should know anything, from whom would you like them to learn? Certainly not from the streets. You, the parent must step into the gap and communicate with them. There is much to learn at this critical time in their lives. It would be regrettable to let them grow through their teen years without the wisdom of your life experience from which to guide their own. A parent can provide for a child what no other person can give. Make sure you talk with your teenage child or children. You don’t want to say, sometime later, “I wish I had done this or I wish I had done that”. This is the time to determine what you will say 20 years from today, so say it and do so with a lot of love.

Until next time, let’s talk to our teens.
For more information and tips on good parenting, purchase a copy of my best selling book:DEFEATING THE ENEMY TO YOUR SUCCESS


Buy Now Button

Book

A copy of my book on Wealth Creation and Freedom

C$20.00

alevans07rev (6)

THE TEST OF TRUE LEADERSHIP

THE TEST OF TRUE LEADERSHIP IN OUR SCHOOLS

When teaching is inspirational, that is, teachers love what they do and understand the subject inside and out as well as having a good understanding of the students learning approaches, remarkable learning can be achieved. Both teaching and learning the research finds go hand in hand.

Image result for school of inspired leadership

Teachers who engage the students in a way that inspires them to learn, both the teachers and the students benefit from the experience. When a teacher understands what he or she is doing, realizes the value of the experience, and loves likes it, hardly anything that can hinder the process will prevail. Not that there aren’t situations and circumstances that may interfere with the process, but when the elements of meaning, love, value, and engagement are present teaching and learning can be a wonderful thrill.

Image result for school of inspired leadership

Well, that being said, we have the dulling effects of board policy, safety regimes, collective agreements, teacher preparation and the changing demographics of students the bring singular and collective challenges to the mix. Even now, with the fallout of unrest in the Middle East and the displacement of school age children, the art of teaching becomes more challenging. That can often be a bridge too far for teachers and students. Teachers need to be supported in ways that we did not anticipate and perhaps did not budget for. Here is where true leadership is tested.