What I find scary is that 65% of pupils currently in primary schools will go on to do jobs that do not yet exist. And we have no process in place to help them learn to adapt. The early years' education in our western schools focuses on reading and comprehension skills over knowledge. The results of this are devastating, especially for poorer children. The time now devoted to reading and comprehension has significantly grown. The time devoted to science, social studies, arts, creativity and thinking skills has plummeted, especially in schools where test scores are low. The way we teach our children is a subject that I am very passionate about. In this article, I will address some things parents can do to help start their child's learning process. I believe the first and most important step in the education of a child is building confidence. The enemies of confidence are discouragement and fear, so, as a parent, it is vital to encourage and support your child in a learning way as they attempt to tackle difficult tasks.
We all experience many defeats in our lives. Most people fail not because they lack knowledge or talent but because they just quit. But we must never quit. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchill - Defeats and failures happen often whether in our personal lives, our business, our career or our relationships. I meet so many people who want to change or follow a dream, but they lack the conviction to change or to pursue that dream. People who lack conviction always take the middle of the road. But what happens in the middle of the road? Yup, you get run over! People without conviction “go along to get along” because they lack confidence and courage. They conform to others’ opinions to gain acceptance, even when they know that what they are doing is not right for them.
A client once described loneliness to me as being like a caged bird that lies buried in a grave of dreams. My own personal experience of loneliness can best be described by the time I first came to the UK in 1986, searching for work. I found myself in a tiny single bedsit in Cricklewood, London, where many young Irish people would go. I never thought it possible to feel the kind of loneliness that makes the heart physically ache.
In a week in which we saw Dominic Cummins and Boris Johnson, who were former friends, trying to knock each other down with their words and opinions about each other; what they said, how they said, it has never been more important to understand the value and effect of language and the role it plays in our lives. I realised this more so during a session I had recently with a person whose name I shall change to John for their anonymity. John’s story certainly embodies the importance of relationships and how words, and their message, can have a huge impact on our lives and our actions. “I was very down and had decided to leave this world forever.” John told me, “When a text from my friend came through and literally saved my life” He continued.
In many of my development workshops, I challenge people to be better and try and understand what is holding them back from achieving. Many people think their problems are caused by external conditions. They try in vain to change the world around them in the hope that things will improve. This seldom works because the reality is your environment, the world in which you live, work, and play is a mirror reflecting your image. Your mindset is the magnet that attracts your reality. How you perceive the world is largely a cogitation of your own attitudes and beliefs. Why do I say this? Let me explain with this little story.
This question is so often asked by so many, suggesting that people assume there is a plausible answer. Almost as if who we are, our identity is one fixed static thing. It is not! The irony is that the more you seek to identify who you are, the more fragile and insecure you are likely to feel about yourself. People often want to define themselves, to have an ideal self. We can spend our lives on self-analysis trying to find out what is beneath our skin, what makes us who we are or how our minds work, only to discover that our mind has a will of its own. It can trick us into thinking that thoughts are facts, that we have an indisputable reason to be sad, to be frustrated, to be anxious, and to be angry. Our brains have many functions but perhaps the main intent is to guide and protect us. To keep us in a state of safety. They take the role very seriously and often offer us feedback, even when they're not prompted, welcomed or are, in fact, wrong. Our brains are a complicated network with - still - a great deal of mystery and…
The subject of self-sabotage is truly a fascinating one to me. I do not believe I know a single person who has not fallen victim to this at some point. We all struggle with personal problems in our lives from stress, anxiety and depression to self-doubt, addiction, and worries. Our relationships are often riddled with conflict. Our partners, children, and other family members can at times be challenging. Relationships with our friends, our neighbours, bosses, and co-workers can also bring elements of chaos to our lives. And then there are the additional concerns dumped upon us by society such as politics, crime, economic problems as well as the continuing and ever-growing societal changes. No wonder so many of us are screwed up and struggling to navigate the minefield that is life. All these problems we face are extremely complex, and their solutions elusive and not always immediately visible. Yet when examined and reflected upon we can see that there is a common link within the nature of these issues, in that for the most part, they are largely caused by us!
I did the Duke of Edinburgh award which is all about championing young people. “How can we do more to help our young people develop after all they have lost in his terrible pandemic?” says Chris from Newcastle. What Prince Philip did when he set up Duke of Edinburgh was forward thinking, and the fact that it has not only lasted for my whole life time is a great legacy of Prince Philip imagination and the thinking that created something that could contribute in a really positive way to British society. To me and the facts support it every child is born a genius and as the saying goes our children are not things to be moulded, but are people to be unfolded. As a father of four and a grandfather of three, I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. For me the best way to make children good is to make them happy. The best way to help our children learn is to make them happy.
I am returning to last weeks topic because so many people contacted me asking for more information about our thoughts. Thank you to Jim, Brian, Jill, Alice and all who contacted me. Leah said to me last week: “I often feel like I am rowing a rickety boat across an ocean of sticky muck, especially in this pandemic. And, no matter how hard I row, I keep getting sucked deeper and deeper into the mud. Deep down I know if anything is going to change, I have to get out of the boat. Yet, there is a sense of security in the boat. After all, it’s solid, gives me some protection, it seems to be moving, even if it’s only in a circle." Leah found that what she thought was security is actually an anchor pulling her deeper and deeper into despair, at worst, or she was just existing, at best. Yet when you try to change it feels hard and what many of you do is get back into the boat where you were comfortable before even if it is denying you your dreams or goals and then the merry go round of life continues again.