Childhood WellbeingA Presentation by St Joseph‟s Primary School, Hawthorn
Why are we here tonight? To explore the concept of „Wellbeing‟Using current researchCommunity ideasExpand our understanding To collaborate and share ideas within our communityUsing personal insights & experience Topics for the evening…What is wellbeing?What can we do when wellbeing deteriorates?How can we promote wellbeing?
Defining Wellbeing World Health Organisation “wellbeing is where each individual realizes his or her ownpotential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can workproductively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution toher or his community” www.who.int What does wellbeing mean to you?Is it happiness, life satisfaction, a feeling of contentment,sense of belonging and acceptance, peace, feeling at ease,or is it pleasure & enjoyment, or all the above?What aspects of life contribute to your wellbeing?Family, friends, work, leisure, sport, activity, hobbies,community, travel, experiences, achievement, lifestyle,serving others, simple things, peace & quiet…
Defining Wellbeing For Your ChildAdult wellbeing & child wellbeing share similaritiesHappiness, acceptance, peace of mindBUT, they also have differencesChildren face different challengesChildren have different prioritiesHow in tune are you with your child‟s wellbeing?What does wellbeing mean for children?What contributes towards a child‟s wellbeing?
Activity TimeAt your tables, please take 2 or 3 minutes toshare your thoughts and ideas aboutchildhood wellbeing, what sorts of day today things contribute to a child‟s sense ofwellbeing (i.e. time with mum and dad)
When childhood wellbeing deteriorates…How do children express distress?How do we know when a child is not ok?Rely on intuition, „Gut feeling‟?Observation?What do we look for?Familiar signsAre there signs I‟m not aware of?
Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist What is it? Created by Professor Thomas Achenbach (Psychiatrist) A widely-used standardized measure in child psychology for evaluatingmaladaptive behavioural and emotional problems How is it used? The Achenbach is used by psychologists & psychiatrists To assess if behaviour is within the normal range for age & gender Investigate behaviour that falls outside the range Who help can use it? Relevant for parents, teachers, & caregivers in general Helpful to be aware of a broad range of child distress behaviours Can give you an idea of what to look for
Achenbach Checklist1. Internalizing Behaviours Somatic complaints (feeling dizzy, tired, aches or pains, headaches,nausea, problems with eyes, rashes or other skin problems, stomach achesor cramps, vomiting or other somatic problems) Anxiety/depression (crying, fear, loneliness, nervousness, worthlessness,suspiciousness, guilt, and fear) Withdrawn (lonely, guilty, worthless, nervous, fearful, suspicious, unloved,self-conscious or sad)2. Externalizing Behaviours Aggressive (bragging, arguing, screaming, showing off, attention-seeking,teasing, being demanding, threatening behaviour and displaying atemper Delinquent (cheating, lying, setting fires, swearing, truancy, stealing andvandalism)
Achenbach Checklist3. Social, Attention and Thought Problems Social (acting young, clinginess, not getting along with peers,clumsiness and preferring to play with younger children) Thought (seeing or hearing things, repeating acts and strangeideas and behaviour) Attention (concentration difficulties, problems sitting still, impulsivity,day dreaming, nervousness and poor performance in school)4. Additional Problem Behaviours Nightmares, sleep problems, eating problems, accidents andtalking about suicide nail-biting, whining, speech problems, sexual problems,picking at skin
Gathering More Information Frequency… How often does the behaviour occur? Describe the intensity on a scale of 1-10, or from mild-severe? Duration… How long have the behaviours occurred? Are there are triggers that precede the behaviour? Is there a family history of problematic behaviours or mental health concerns? Any significant events, life changes, or trauma in your child‟s history?
Seeking help - OptionsFamily, friends, parishParentline 13 22 89 (7am to Midnight)Family GPPaediatricianMental health servicesSchool community
Seeking help within our school communityStep 1 - Raise your concerns with your classroom teacher/HoINDiscuss behaviour in developmental contextStep 2 - Classroom teacher/HoIN will refer you to me (Emma)Step 3 - Discuss concerns in greater detail, make a planStep 4 - Make decisions in partnership about how to proceed Short term counselling Classroom based strategies Parent support
Amber Flag Behaviours & Thoughts1. Verbal or physical violence towards peers,siblings, parents, or teachers2. Ongoing sleeping difficulties – trouble gettingto or staying asleep, nightmares3. Thoughts or curiosity about suicide or harmingthemselves or othersTalk to someone as soon as possible
Positive Psychology = Promoting Wellbeing Positive Psychology founded in 1998 by Dr Martin Seligman Traditionally in psychology, the focus has been on identifyingand treating mental health issues or problem behaviour Positive psychology seeks to enhance overall wellbeing byidentifying & treating mental health issues, as well as using apersons strengths to create meaning, find fulfilment, & thrive!Traditional psychologyPositive Psychology-100 0 100
What is St Joseph’s doing to promote wellbeing?
Promoting Wellbeing – At School1. Classroom environment Individualised approach – every child matters Key emphasis on Respect – self, peers, others Physical space is uncluttered, colourful, welcoming „Circle‟ Time Strategy employed by both Junior & Senior year levels Gives students a voice to be heard Supervised & led by classroom teacher2. Wellbeing & Support StaffHead of Wellbeing & Head of Individual NeedsLearning Support StaffSchool Psychologist
Promoting Wellbeing – At School3. Social & Emotional Programs Classroom programs i.e. The „You Can Do It‟ initiative Classroom workshops (programs vary with needs) Wellbeing Workshops – years 3 & 4 Supervised Playgroups – years 1 & 2 Garden Club – years 5 & 64. Playground & Other Support Teachers are trained in Restorative Practice Yard duty book (Observation & Monitoring) „Behavioural Contracts‟ Parent Support Group Meetings
Promoting Wellbeing – At School St Joseph‟s Mission StatementWhen we encounter difficultiesWhen we have problems or issues to solveWhen we need guidance and supportReminds us of our school values“St Joseph’s School aspires to live the values of Jesuswithin a welcoming Catholic community thatcelebrates and integrates faith, life, learning, &culture; empowering our students to live togetherharmoniously in an ever changing world”Mission statements are not just useful for schools, companies,and institutions…
Family Foundations1. What is your Family Philosophy? Articulate and acknowledge your family values Put them on posters, remind your children, be vocal about them Create a family Mission Statement that sets the tone for your family2. Positive role modelling Relevant for Teachers, Sports Coaches, Caregivers, & Parents Modelling is one of the most powerful ways of learning What you do and say will be internalised by your children We ALL make mistakes – model ownership & acceptance of mistakes Take responsibility for our thoughts and actions
Activity TimeAt your tables, please take a moment toshare an experience with the person nextto you about a situation where your childmodelled your behaviour, can be positiveor an embarrassing example (the funnierthe better!), and how you managed theoutcome.
Positive Boundary SystemAim: To socialise, prepare, & train children for the real world1. Clear & Specific Behavioural Expectations & Consequences Relevant for school & home Don‟t assume they know, and don‟t assume they remember Define & articulate your behavioural expectations Reasonable & age appropriate Put them on a poster, in the kitchen? Back of the toilet? Revisit expectations often, call a “family meeting”2. Positive Delivery or Day-to-day Management Successful approaches are consistent, assertive, fair, respectful Being mindful of language, tone, volume, body language Avoids intimidation, fear, confusion, mixed messages Acknowledges the inherent Power imbalanceThis strategy can be useful in any situation where children are involved
Managing Challenging BehaviourWhen boundaries are blurry„Power Struggles‟ - Chaotic environmentA system or framework can simplify & clarifyWarwick Dyer – Child behaviour ExpertBefore the Super NannyFeatured on Ch. 4 in the UK Cutting Edge programwww.warwickdyer.comMercury’s Child
360˚ Wellbeing1. Healthy food & healthy sleep Well balanced diet Sleep difficulties and deprivation (debilitating)2. Minimise ‘Screen Time’ or time ‘Plugged in’ Research re: Addiction to electronics, social media, games Positive boundaries around when, how long, and what is essential Some children will need to abstain from computer games3. Teach your child how to relax Relaxation Breathing Mindfulness strategies – „Flow‟, „Focussed Thoughts‟, „Visual Imagery‟
Summing it up…1. Establish a common understanding of wellbeing2. The indicators of child distress, gathering more information3. What help is available and what are my options?4. Positive Psychology approach5. Promoting wellbeing at school6. Promoting wellbeing at home