All the evidence coming back from the young people I’m working with confirms my own learning that when in need of a ‘shot’ of confidence, positive ‘Self talk’ is a make or break in success.
An eleven year old boy who constantly told himself he wasn’t good at maths, in just 2 months improved his ability in class test by 50%, he now say’s with confidence that he is ‘quite good’ at Maths.
A young girl who was anxious the majority of time she was at school, became calmer and able to take part in class discussions, where before she didn’t speak, positive self talk was key for her to be able to change her pattern of behaviour.
Having a more coaching approach to working with children at school is going to be key to improving our national outcomes is literacy & numeracy. This needs to happen all through school, so that children develop a ‘Can Do’ attitude for life.
More about this next time
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Please take part in our short on-line survey for customers who have purchased our Powerful Positive Thinking Cards.
We area new social enterprise and it is important to us to improve our products where possible – your child’s feedback will help us to understand how these cards help them and also what other areas children would like reassurance for.
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Thank you and all good wishes for you and yours.
I’ve been wondering for a while how we develop strengths in a particular area or field.
I completed a strengths assessment on http://www.strengthsfinder.com/home.aspx and I was very interested to read my report and sense that it was uncannily true of me.
In my case I can see that most of my strengths were developed when I was growing up. In my report it says I have a high level of Empathy, which I know I developed from my Mum, who had lots of sayings such as “there but for the grace of God go I” and “walk a mile in there shoes before you criticise” and “treat others as you would like them to treat you”. This gave me the ability to stand back from judgement and relate to the other persons situation. My upbringing was political and very much ground in co-operative action and service of the community.
I also have a strength in that I always consider the unique qualities of each Individual, I do not like generalisations or stereotypes. I am able to draw out the best in individuals because I can see their distinct individual strengths and draw them out.
What strengths are we building in the next generations? What strengths d they need? Are we helping them become reflective? self aware? confident? kind and considerate?
Strengths of character are an important aspect of human civilization that we need to promote in relationship building in schools as they are the places where our children learn to socialise and develop friendships. These are fabulous opportunities for children to develop numerous social skills and develop strengths in their character.
One of the questions I ask my groups in Primary school is “What do you want to be like when you are grown up?” rather than what do you want to be. The responses I get back are very interesting and can show even at that young age the motivations young people have and how they would like to change the world for the good. More of them also say what they don’t want to be like too, which also serves as a barometer for issues they have encountered already in some way.
The more we discuss social situations and encounters and explain why we are all different and how to enjoy the difference in others rather than see them as threatening the more we are building the world that our children want to live in.
Let’s get building!
Another great resource to highlight how the brain learns so we can adapt our ‘style’ and ‘expectations’ to suit our brain. We can actively take an interest and have more control of our learning. We can improve how we learn. Once we have this understanding we can relax and be curious about what happens in our brain. We will become more enthusiastic and more appreciative of our own thoughts.
We can build upon this new knowledge and support our brain to function well, keep hydrated by drinking water frequently throughout the day, make sure we eat a healthy diet so we take in all the nutrients our brain needs. We may want to help our brain even more by taking a multi-vitamin, some Omega 3 oil and Coconut oil.
Being more informed takes anxieties away, we all have automatic thoughts generated by our brains and these automatic thoughts are not always right or verifiable. Once we appreciate this we can be more confident in questioning, being curious about these thoughts in ourselves and in others. Become amused by how fantastic our brains are and also how easily fooled we can be too :-).
Enjoy and explore more resources on the web http://www.amazon.co.uk/Powerful-Positive-Thinking-Cards-Children/dp/B009KKL7KS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1349701016&sr=8-3
The Learning Brain – How your brain learns, for young people.
Please watch this video from the Learning Pod with your child – its a great introduction to what the brain does and the process of learning. It will help parents, teachers and children to be more ‘mindful’ of what’s happening in the brain when trying to learn a new skill or some new information. It encourages us to practice the skill so our brain gets used to the new movements, new environments, new experiences and these can then be ‘logged’, ‘learnt’ and ‘mastered’. With this new knowledge we an encourage children to be a little more patient with themselves, to allow time and practice for the new knowledge or skill to be embedded in the brain cells and new connections between cells to be formed.
I’ve been using this with year 5 & 6 children and it has helped them to be more self aware as to how they learn and what they need to be like to learn at their best.
Enjoy the video
Mindful Children and Young People Do Better
Being more mindful of ourselves, our mind and body is scientifically proven to be beneficial to our physical and mental health. People have reported less illness, fewer days off work, an increase in productivity while at work. Mindfulness increases creativity, something we all need during these difficult times, our creativity is the thing that will help us navigate through problems and barriers we come across at school, work and life in general. Mindfulness is being taught as part of Social and Emotional Learning in the PHSE element of the National Curriculum, however SEL has more impact if it integrated into the whole curriculum, after all we are social and emotional beings……. we have lesson plans for teaching mindfulness and becoming the boss of your brain…they are fun and interactive ….. Primary year 5 & 6 have already benefitted from these techniques and increased academic results, felt calmer, developed friendships, stopped having bad dreams… lots of great stuff is available to help children feel better about themselves including our Affirmation Cards
So I’ve been researching what’s new in Social and Emotional Learning in the US and I’ve been encouraged by everything I’ve read. Evidence coming from the US where SEL has been practiced for over 20 years is definitely showing that it improves academic success and encourages positive behaviour. So if we adopt a more SEL approach in the UK we are more likely to stem the ‘bad behaviour’ which is increasing in schools and prevent mental ill health in young people.
I was so pleased to discover Edutopia which is the Education Foundation set up by George Lucas – Yes George Lucas the creator of Star Wars – May the Force be with you – Please visit
Success Indicator is a great reminder of behaviour to embed Happiness