By Carolyn Aston
Have you ever thought how hard a job it is to be a parent these days and how often we see or hear about inspiring moments of parents who are ‘good enough’ simply getting on with the day to day care of their children? You might see it at your supermarket, at your school, in the park or at someone’s home. In my experience, it is rare for parents to receive compliments on their role. This is the first of a series of brief stories about how often parents in their ordinary day to day role demonstrate qualities worth acknowledging. Parenthood not only brings joy, pride and laughter, but also dreaded feelings of guilt, inadequacy self doubt and exhaustion. Parents do not need to have ten children, a menagerie, live in poverty and overcome multiple illnesses and tragedies to get my vote…
Congratulations to a Mum who recently described in the Herald Sun how bullying issues can be complex and require careful thinking rather than reacting. In her case she explained that she had concerns about her child being targeted by another child who was struggling with particular needs together with his family who were also doing it tough. She seems to intuitively understand that a distressed child may behave inappropriately, especially if they can’t talk about their feelings or difficulties.
Bullying is a symptom of underlying problems.
Her empathy for the child who is seen as the bully in this situation with her own child allows her to think carefully about her response. This is likely to result in a successful resolution rather than an angry reaction, which often makes things worse. If we can empathise with someone, our concern and compassion replaces any anger we might have felt. It allows us to respond thoughtfully and peacefully to difficult situations. When we are calm and empathic, like this Mum, we encourage others to be the same. We are able to think clearly and communicate our needs assertively, as well as sort out problems.
This altruistic, empathic Mum is a great example of what we promote in our Peaceful School Communities!
Please share your stories of other Parent Heroes on CASSE’s New Peaceful Schools Program Parent Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CassePeacefulSchoolsProgram) We look forward to hearing from you and maybe providing a magic moment for those whom you write about as our real heroes in my view are often slow to recognise their own attributes as their concern is often for others.